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Fort Meade receives $17.5 million for road improvements in federal defense spending bill

A sign outside Fort Meade, Md., headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA) ,on February 14, 2018. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)
January 02, 2023

Anne Arundel County will receive $17.5 million for road improvements at Fort George G. Meade as part of the more than $800 billion National Defense Authorization Act signed into law Friday by President Joe Biden.

The defense spending bill for the current fiscal year includes more than $800 million in investments in Maryland military installations and pay raises for military personnel and Defense Department employees.

Anne Arundel County Del.-elect Andrew Pruski, who represented the base for the past eight years on the County Council, said it’s the first major roadway overhaul he’s seen at the military base in his time in office and is much needed for the thousands of military personnel, civilians, families and retirees who live there. Most of the roads are one-way, he said. This project will expand their capacity.

“Some of those roads and infrastructure were really built for a different time period. You ask anyone that either worked at the agency or traveled on base, they’ve been asking for improvements for a while so this is going to make a huge difference,” Pruski said. “This is a welcome improvement.”

Pruski said he has advocated for the needs of the base to Maryland Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin who helped ensure the funding became law. As Pruski often reminds them, Fort Meade is the largest employer in the state of Maryland and the work that goes on there, including aiding in the war in Ukraine and other international conflicts, is of vital importance to the nation as well as the state.

“This law supports our service members, bolsters our security both at home and abroad, and advances important defense projects across our state. I’m glad to see it become law,” Van Hollen said in a statement Friday.

The base currently houses about 63,000 people across 120 agencies. A construction project underway at the East Campus of the base to house the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command will add capacity for more than 3,000 new employees.

In anticipation of the influx of additional residents, the County Council in May passed a bill sponsored by Pruski and former council member Sarah Lacey that adds more flexibility in residential zoning around the base. The bill limits the area where certain kinds of mixed-use development can be done to a 4-mile radius around the military installation and reduces the size of the parcels that are eligible from 25 acres to 5 acres. It also allows business park and highway commercial development zones to be used for housing without having to be accompanied by commercial development.

Pruski’s successor, Julie Hummer, a Democrat, couldn’t be reached for comment, nor could Fort Meade.


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