- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Maryland needs more federal dollars for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) transportation projects, and Gov. Martin O'Malley said Friday that state officials will work closely with Congress to get them.

“We plan to meet the shortfall as we have every challenge in the history of our nation — by doing it together,” said Mr. O'Malley, a Democrat.

Maryland has allocated $95 million for transportation projects around the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort George G. Meade and will need an additional $315 million to $470 million, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office.

The three military sites, as well as other installations, are expected to gain an estimated 27,000 jobs by September 2011. Gridlock is forecast unless road improvements are made.

Meanwhile, Gazette.net reported that the Maryland Department of Transportation has awarded Rockville developer Patriot Realty exclusive negotiating rights to turn the Laurel MARC station into a mixed-used development.

The 4.4-acre, $45-million transit-oriented development, which will be located on the MARC station’s state-owned parking lot at First and Main streets, falls under Mr. O'Malley’s Smart, Green & Growing initiative, which promotes land preservation, transit improvements and community revitalization.

D.C. and Baltimore commuters who live near MARC and new families relocating because of BRAC are the likely draws.

“A big issue with BRAC is often you have spouses that need to get to work,” Erin Henderson told Gazette.net. “It allows people the option … to be able to use transit and not have to have another car for the family.”