The Pentagon approved $180 million in spending to widen U.S. 1 outside Fort Belvoir to help cope with increased traffic caused by the fort's growth.
Belvoir's population increased significantly as a result of the most recent round of base closings and realignments. In addition, a new hospital on the base receives nearly 600,000 patients a year.
Traffic outside the base has been a concern since the plans to expand Belvoir were announced.
The $180 million funding agreement announced Monday by the Defense Department's Office of Economic Adjustment will allow U.S. 1 to expand from four to six lanes on a 3.5-mile stretch from telegraph Road to Mount Vernon Memorial Highway.
In addition, the project will improve access to Fort Belvoir at the Tully and Pence gates.
Members of Virginia's congressional delegation applauded the announcement. The money came from a $300 million appropriation secured by Maryland and Virginia's congressional delegations dedicated to transportation improvements required to cope with base realignment.