Pentagon gives $180 to widen Route 1

      FORT BELVOIR, Va. (AP) - The Pentagon has 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.