14 December 2014
US Coast Guard Headquarters Eyeball
The Coast Guard completed its move to the St. Elizabeths campus in December
Planned Homeland Security headquarters, long delayed and over budget,
now in doubt
May 20, 2014
The construction of a massive new headquarters for the Department of Homeland
Security, billed as critical for national security and the revitalization
of Southeast Washington, is running more than $1.5 billion over budget, is
11 years behind schedule and may never be completed, according to planning
documents and federal officials.
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the George W. Bush
administration called for a new, centralized headquarters to strengthen the
departments ability to coordinate the fight against terrorism and respond
to natural disasters. More than 50 historic buildings would be renovated
and new ones erected on the grounds of St. Elizabeths, a onetime insane asylum
with a panoramic view of the District.
The entire complex was to be finished as early as this year, at a cost of
less than $3 billion, according to the initial plan.
Instead, with the exception of a Coast Guard building that opened last year,
the grounds remain entirely undeveloped, with the occasional deer grazing
amid the vacant Gothic Revival-style structures. The budget has ballooned
to $4.5 billion, with completion pushed back to 2026. Even now, as Obama
administration officials make the best of their limited funding, they have
started design work for a second building that congressional aides and others
familiar with the project say may never open.
A decade after work began, the St. Elizabeths venture the capital
regions largest planned construction project since the Pentagon
has become a monumental example of Washington inefficiency and drift. Bedeviled
by partisan brawling, it has been starved of funds by both Republicans and
Democrats in Congress and received only lackluster support from the Obama
administration, according to budget documents and interviews with current
and former federal officials.
The crippling shortfall in funding has created a vicious cycle, causing delays
that in turn inflated the projected price tag as construction costs escalated
over time and DHS agencies still scattered in more than 50 locations
across the Washington area have been signing expensive temporary leases.
|Coast Guard Headquarters at West Campus Below, East Campus not Begun
|15 April 2014
|14 October 2013
|15 July 2013
|19 April 2013
|17 December 2012
|12 October 2012
|About 20 June 2011. Note deep excavation of the hill at upper right to
provide a flat foundation.
|20 June 2011
|29 October 2010
|28 August 2010
|1 April 2010