Aberdeen Proving Ground leaders and Soldiers joined local officials and neighbors at the new MD Route 715 entrance facility May 8 commemorating the completion of the Maryland Boulevard Gate.

The first APG base realignment and closure project took 16 months to complete beginning in May 2008.

The improved gate was designed by Jacobs Engineering and constructed by Facchina Construction with the Baltimore District of the Army Corps of Engineers overseeing the venture.

The project moved the new gate approximately 3,200 feet from the existing gate. The new gate has five vehicle inspection lanes for DoD ID card holders and a separate commercial vehicle inspection facility with two lanes. A new visitors' center was added, as well as canopies and an improved barrier security system.

The conclusion of the $23 million Route 715 Gate improvements marks the completion of not only the first BRAC project at APG, but the first BRAC project completed in Maryland.
Janet Dettwiler, director of the Garrison Directorate of Human Resources, moderated the ceremony.

Garrison Commander Col. Jeffrey S. Weissman thanked the project team for completing the gate with minimal interference to the APG workforce; the gate remained open throughout the duration of construction.

He also pointed out the benefits of the project.

"This gate not only accommodates the additional personnel moving to APG because of BRAC, the state of the art technology and designs ensure the force protection and security of our workforce and facilities," Weissman said. "The new visitor control center will be more effective and efficient. Golfers playing at Ruggles Golf Course no longer have to spend time signing in at the visitor's center."

Weissman reminded the group that the new security access point is an important component to the APG 2012 vision which goes beyond BRAC. The APG 2012 vision focuses on facilities, infrastructure, quality of life, services and human capital.

Col. Peter Mueller, commander of the Baltimore District Army Corps of Engineers, also commended the work of the construction and design contractors, as well as the entire project team.
He acknowledged that the Maryland Boulevard Gate project is small in scope compared to the other BRAC projects at APG but it is significant by being the first project fulfilled.

"First impressions are lasting impressions," Mueller commented, and he said he is excited about the upcoming BRAC projects because the success of the gate project reflects the success of happenings inside of the gate.

Harford County Executive David Craig provided remarks at the event stating that it is exciting for county officials and residents to see the "first visible signs of BRAC." He also acknowledged a Certificate of Special Recognition from U.S. Representative Dutch Ruppersberger.

Instead of a traditional ribbon cutting, Weismann, Mueller and the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Sgt. Elizabeth Thompson were driven in a high mobility mutli-purpose wheeled vehicle through the new gate by Sgt. Geraldine Bradley Bean. The APG Police Officer of the Year Officer Jeffrey Grey performed the symbolic identification check.

The group then toured the new facilities. Samuel Seay provided the tour of the visitors' center and demonstrated the new computerized visitor check-in system.

According to Seay, the visitors' center processes 500 to 600 a week. It has special features such as a waiting area and display cases, even incorporating retired Police Capt. Wayne Smith's silhouette on a plaque with the words of the Army Civilian Corps Creed.

The Directorate of Emergency Services, which includes the DoD police officers who staff the gates, worked closely with the contractors and the Corp of Engineers to ensure the facilities are sufficient for the officers to perform their jobs.

"I'm looking forward to being able to move the increasing traffic at the gates in an efficient and safe manner for all people including the officers who work at the gates every day," commented Robert Krauer, director of DES.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16