This fall, the federal government’s Walter Reed Army Medical Center will close and relocate to the campus of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. This is a result of a decision made by the federal government as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) law enacted in 2005. These two iconic hospitals will become the consolidated Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, the crown jewel of military medicine serving our nation’s active, wounded, and retired uniformed personnel.
Montgomery County is proud to be Walter Reed’s new home. There can be no greater honor than to host a facility that will provide care to the men and women who have put their lives on the line to defend our nation’s security and our liberty around the world.
Still, there will be impacts.
Over 2,500 new jobs at the facility will come to Bethesda – an increase of nearly one-third. And visits to the combined facility by wounded veterans, their families, and friends will increase from 500,000 a year to nearly one million. Unlike most BRAC relocations, this one comes in a complex urban area which already includes the National Institutes of Health. It will mean further traffic on an already-congested Rockville Pike.
Montgomery County has been working closely with the State of Maryland since the relocation was announced -- and with a very engaged Bethesda community -- to devise plans to address the oncoming impact. These plans include projects at key intersections, improved pedestrian and bicycle access, and ensuring safe and efficient pedestrian access at the Medical Center Metro station.
Millions of dollars in state, federal, and local funds are committed to making these improvements happen. Much more, including additional federal funding, is needed. We are continuing to work with Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin and Congressman Chris Van Hollen toward that end.
This website is designed to help you find information on how the Walter Reed/Bethesda Naval consolidation will affect you. We hope you’ll use this website to access information on the timing of BRAC-related transportation improvements.
Ike Leggett, County Executive