Work begins next week on a project that will require Fort Wainwright’s main gate to be closed for the next four months. To help motorists get on and off the installation during that time, post officials are opening up two other gates and making other traffic adjustments.
Fort Wainwright officials say they must close the main gate temporarily to enable work on a project to that’s intended to make traffic to flow through the area more smoothly and securely.
“The main gate will be closed through the end of September while we do some reconstruction and redesign of the main gate area and the visitors center to improve the flow of traffic and improve safety for both visitors and the people who work in that area,” says Fort Wainwright spokesperson Eve Baker.
She says post officials have made some changes that should enable motorists to make their way onto and off the installation while the work on the main gate is under way.
“We’re going to open up the Lazelle Gate, which is opposite the Steese-Johansen intersection, and that will be inbound traffic for 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she said. “And we’ll also be opening up the Richardson Gate for outbound traffic on weekdays.”
The Richardson Gate is located just south of Fairbanks off the Richardson Highway.
Baker says opening the Lazelle and Richardson gates will take some of the pressure off the Badger and Trainor gates, which are expected to be a bit more congested during the project. She says post officials will make other adjustments to reduce traffic congestion around the installation, like allowing only outbound traffic through the Trainor Gate at night, and reprogramming some traffic-signal timing, especially along River Road and the Gaffney-Meridian road intersection.
“There may be a slight delay at some of our gates, especially for people who are trying to get a visitor pass at the Lazelle Gate,” Baker said in an interview Thursday. “But, we are doing everything we can to make sure that it won’t impede on peoples’ morning and evening commutes.”
Baker says it’ll take a few minutes longer than usual to get a visitor pass at the Lazelle Gate. She says post officials will continue consulting with the state Transportation Department and the City of Fairbanks and police department to make other traffic adjustments, as needed.