- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Army OKs new museum site after concerns over gridlock
The Army agreed yesterday to move the proposed site of a planned national Army museum in Fairfax County after months of intense criticism from elected officials about the original location.
The Army now plans to locate the National Museum of the U.S. Army near the Route 1 corridor, where county officials hope it can anchor a commercial revitalization and complement existing tourist attractions, including George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens.
In July, the Army announced plans to put the museum on an undeveloped tract in Springfield called the Engineer Proving Ground. The museum would have been joined by nearly 22,000 new jobs that are coming to Fort Belvoir by 2011 as part of a national military base realignment.
Elected officials immediately decried the Army's decision, saying that the new work force -- essentially equal in size to the Pentagon -- plus a tourist attraction expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors a year would bring gridlock to that part of the county, which straddles Interstate 95.
Army officials countered that putting too many of the jobs or the museum on the Route 1 corridor would create gridlock there, where traffic also is heavy.
Yesterday, the Army acquiesced and agreed to put the museum on Fort Belvoir near the intersection of Kingman Road and the Fairfax County Parkway, just off Route 1.
A golf course currently is located at the Kingman site.
"After consulting extensively with our local congressional delegation, Fairfax County supervisors and other members of the public we are persuaded that the Kingman site better supports the region's traffic needs and the desires of our community neighbors," said Keith Eastin, the Army's assistant secretary for installations and environment.
Rep. James P. Moran, Virginia Democrat, praised the announcement.
"The Army has listened to the concerns of Northern Virginia leaders" and "shown willingness to compromise," Mr. Moran said.
Also yesterday, Mr. Eastin said the Army no longer would pursue a public-private financing arrangement for the museum. The Army had solicited proposals for private projects such as a hotel and conference center that would complement the museum and help pay for its construction.
A brief firestorm erupted over an unsolicited proposal for something akin to a military theme park next to the museum that would have included rides that simulate paratrooper jumps and tank battles. The Army nixed that proposal as inappropriate.
Without a public-private partnership, though, it is not clear how successful the private fundraising effort to build the museum will be.
The location of the museum -- as well as the additional 22,000 jobs -- are still subject to environmental and other reviews.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- ICT trade mission to Azerbaijan successfully completed
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- JACOBS: Prepare for a fight on driverless vehicles
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- White House faces press revolt over access to Obama's South Africa flight
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow