Fort Meade to gain about 22,000 jobs, study says

The Baltimore Sun

Fort Meade stands to gain about 22,000 jobs from a military expansion, according to a recently released Army study, an estimate that is thousands higher than a recent state report.

The environmental impact study analyzing growth at the Army post in western Anne Arundel County showed that it will pick up 16,000 contractors and other federal employees in addition to the nearly 6,000 government workers it will gain as part of the base realignment and closure process, also known as BRAC. The report was the subject of a public hearing on the post Wednesday night.

It factors growth from a proposed lease agreement with real estate developer Trammell Crow Co. to build 2 million square feet of office space on post, which would house 10,000 contractors.

A state report released in February estimated that about 12,000 jobs would arrive at Fort Meade within the next five years because of BRAC.

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold, a Republican, said the latest study "just underscores the needs to accelerate our infrastructure improvements."

The county has estimated it will need $5 billion to pay for a series of transportation upgrades to handle the growth, such as overhauling Routes 175, 198 and 3. County officials worry about a lack of federal funding to complete a five-mile overhaul of Route 175 by 2011, when the BRAC transition must be complete.

Leaders yesterday applauded the receipt of a $1.4 million federal grant to measure the effects of Fort Meade growth on Anne Arundel and Howard counties.

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