Fort Monroe cleanup at $60 million-70 million

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Army officials estimate it will cost $60 to $70 million to remove munitions, pollutants and other debris from the soon-to-be closed Fort Monroe.

The estimate is the most concrete figure revealed since the Department of Defense announced in 2005 that it would shutter the historic post. Previous estimates had the cost as high as $700 million.

Those figures were "widely outrageous," said Robert Reali, who, as the environmental coordinator with Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, leads the cleanup effort.

Reali, who addressed the base's Restoration Advisory Board on Thursday, said the cleanup is two-thirds complete. Crews spent the past year scouring the base finding everything from a Civil War-era cannon to a potato masher.

About half the cleanup cost will come from scrubbing weapon ranges that extended off the post into the Chesapeake Bay, Reali said. The area, which has been widely used by the Army and Navy, contains artillery that dates to the 19th century....

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