MARYLAND

New grant money to ease traffic troubles at Walter Reed

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BETHESDA, Md. (AP) - The Department of Defense says Montgomery County has been awarded $40 million in grants for transportation projects at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.

Defense officials say the grants will help Walter Reed deal with increased traffic caused by base realignment. The DOD say the realignment has increased personnel at Walter Reed by almost a third and doubled the medical center's visitor load. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the grant Monday.

Defense officials say the money will be used on projects including a bicycle and pedestrian path under Maryland Route 355 that will connect the medical center and a Metrorail station. Three high-speed elevators are also planned to connect the street level of the medical center to the Metrorail mezzanine level 120 feet below.

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