Fort Meade’s steady progress is a success

guest column

Lt. Col. Jay Birmingham, Fort Meade’s deputy garrison commander for transformation.

By Lt. Col. Jay Birmingham, Deputy Garrison Commander

Happy New Year, Team Meade!

On behalf of the garrison commander, Col. Tom Rickard, and the garrison leadership team, welcome back from the holidays to an exciting 2018.

We are thankful to the Fort Meade community for donating time and talents, pooling resources, and supporting events that allowed everyone an opportunity to enjoy the season.

The year 2017 marked numerous Transformation efforts in the Greater Fort Meade area:

  • Anne Arundel County renovated a middle school and expanded an elementary school on post.
  • Reece Crossing constructed two new apartment buildings.
  • The Maryland State Highway Administration began the Route 175 expansion between Disney Road and Reece Road by clearing Fort Meade land, reconstructing the post perimeter fence and carving out four new lanes to total six lanes by the year 2020. That project is 38 percent complete.
  • Work at the Route 175 intersection at Reece Road is moving along and expected to be completed in early 2019.
  • Fort Meade’s Directorate of Public Works paved Mapes, Rockenbach and other surfaces.
  • American Water repaired and replaced numerous lines.
  • NSA East Campus, with a new parking deck, continued to rise from the earth.
  • Llewellyn Avenue gate was reopened to redirect vehicle access as the Mapes Road gate closed for renovation.
  • The Rockenbach Road access control point is nearly half done. However, reconstruction is temporarily suspended until the Federal Highway Administration settles contract disputes and resumes work in the coming months. Until then, there is no change in the existing access times or procedures at the Rockenbach gate.

These and other transportation management projects and infrastructure improvements will continue this year.

Thanks to our partners at the Maryland Transit Administration and the Maryland Regional Transportation Agency, we now have bus routes between the Savage and Odenton MARC train stations and along Route 175 at five key stops at Fort Meade gates.

We are continuing to improve “last mile” transportation by synchronizing existing internal shuttles while exploring options for additional routes.

In conjunction with our Baltimore-Washington International Partnership, we are leveraging opportunities to expand Fort Meade’s transportation network by bringing in transportation network companies, also known as mobility service providers. These are business models similar to those of Uber and Lyft.

We’re working with our county and city partner to include bicycle and pedestrian space on all future road designs and construction.

If you are interested in a bike share service on Fort Meade, submit comments via the Fort George G. Meade app, which can be downloaded to your personal device. Some of the questions we are attempting to answer are: where to put the bike share racks and how many are needed to support the Fort Meade community.

We will conduct our semiannual Facebook town hall on Wednesday from 4:30-6 p.m., when you have virtual access to our garrison leadership team. You can directly ask questions and collectively engage answers and challenges facing our growing community. All insight is appreciated.

As always, thank you for your patience as we continue to build out Fort Meade to accommodate a future U.S. Cyber Command as well as other unit growth.

We are proud to now be the second largest installation (by population) in the Army! With that recognition comes infrastructure challenges. Together, we will solve them.

Team Meade!

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