The U.S. Department of the Navy has released a draft environmental impact statement that examines proposed developments on the campus of
The Navy last year announced a plan to study demolishing five buildings on the Walter Reed Bethesda campus and constructing a new five-story, 563,000 square foot medical facility and a 500-space underground parking garage in its place.
The study also looks at expanding the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, located on Walter Reed Bethesda’s campus, by adding a new 341,000 square foot research and education facility and a 400-space parking structure.
The federally-required EIS, which examines the impacts of the proposed construction, was launched in August of 2011.
The new hospital building will allow for more space for single-occupancy patient rooms, a simulation center and a health innovation center, according to the Navy. The new university building will help consolidate university “departments, centers and activities” and provide more research and education space.
Neighbors have raised concerns that new parking structures could mean more cars on already congested throroughfares near the military hospital.
The environmental impact statement includes a traffic study and draws on public feedback to examine several different construction alternatives, including a “no-action” alternative.
Now that a draft of the EIS is complete, the public is asked to weigh in during a public review period before a final impact statement is prepared.
The EIS will not be available online until Friday, Sept. 14, according to a notice released by the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center. Hard copies of the two-volume document are available for review at the and county libraries, according to the notice. To review the document at the B-CC RSC, call 240-777-8210.
The Navy will host two public hearings to solicit feedback on the EIS, from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 4 and from 5-9 p.m. Oct. 11 at the at 5151 Pooks Hill Road in Bethesda.
Comments via mail or e-mail are being accepted through Oct. 29. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail written comments to Joseph Macri, NSA Bethesda Public Affairs Office, 890-1 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20889.
Discussion of the EIS is also on the agenda for a meeting of the Walter Reed BRAC Integration Committee, set for 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center. The meeting is open to the public.