Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

April 5, 2011 at 7:50am

McChord Main Gate construction update

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- The next phase in gate upgrades is coming soon to the McChord Field Main Gate on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and drivers should prepare for more traffic pattern changes beginning the evening of April 13. 

Contractors will begin Phase 2 of the construction project on that date with completion scheduled by May 2. 

The new phase brings new traffic detours and diversions for access to the gate, said McChord Field's Installation Security and Plans Chief David Lenart. Currently, traffic is reduced to one inbound and outbound lane in what was the original lane leading out of McChord prior to construction's start. Phase 2 will shift traffic to the original inbound lanes, allowing contractors to cut across the roadway and lay new electrical wiring. 

Access to the visitor center will change as well. Motorists should pay close attention to signage directing them to entry and exit points. 

The current physical upgrades will improve the power infrastructure at and near the gates, said JBLM Chief of Security and Access Control Mel Austin. That includes improved physical protection features for security personnel, improved information systems connectivity and installing backup power generators and lights. 

One major vehicle restriction is being placed on incoming and outgoing traffic through the McChord Main Gate - no oversized vehicles, Lenart said. Because the road entering McChord Field is narrower than the outbound lane and has a sharp turn around the visitor center, security officials are asking that people driving tractor-trailers, RVs and military vehicles use either the Commercial Gate or Barnes Gate, both located on Perimeter Road. 

No vehicle or vehicle and trailer combination longer than 27 feet should attempt to enter or exit through the Main Gate. 

The Commercial Gate will be open 24 hours daily throughout this phase of construction.

Traffic safety officials are asking everyone in the JBLM community who use the McChord Field Main Gate to continue the level of understanding they have already shown this past month during Phase 1. 

Construction update information will be communicated through the Northwest Guardian, website updates and on readerboards and poster boards located throughout McChord. 

"McChord customers have been very accommodating for the construction," Lenart said.

"Construction is going well and people are following directions well."    

Filed under: News To Us U.S. Air Force
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