Fort Wainwright begins installation access improvements

By Fort Wainwright Public Affairs OfficeMay 24, 2021

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska – The U.S. Army Garrison Alaska Directorate of Public Works will begin work to improve the main installation gate on Gaffney Road on June 2. This project will better enable the Directorate of Emergency Services to provide improved security while managing vehicle traffic flow.

The Main Gate and current Visitor Center will be closed for the duration of the project, which is expected to continue into October. An alternate Visitor Center will be located at the Lazelle Gate on Lazelle Road. The Lazelle Gate will be open for inbound traffic only, and both the gate and alternate Visitor Center will be open 24/7 as of June 2.

This project requires additional gate access to help accommodate the community and shifts in traffic flow while the Main Gate is closed. Tune in as Jason Millet from Physical Security provides details about where exactly the Lazelle Gate is and what else to expect this summer.

One of the major upgrades coming out of this Main Gate improvement project, will be the modifications to the visitor center experience here at Fort Wainwright. Tune in as Jason Millet from Physical Security provides more detail about these upgrades and what they'll look like when complete.

Equipment and materials will be staged in the vicinity of the Main Gate the week of May 24-28, requiring the closure of one lane during off-peak hours.

The Richardson Highway Gate will be re-opened for outbound traffic Monday through Friday during the work, which will be a major change for commuters who normally do not see vehicles in that area. Vehicles will not be allowed to enter through the Richardson Gate.

Fort Wainwright is improving security features of the main gate according to Army standards. The project will require closure of the main gate beginning 0001, June 2, 2021 and extending to early October.

Planned changes during the construction period include the following: improved Visitor Center parking and commercial vehicle layout, added electrical power capabilities, improved road surfaces and the elimination of existing pot holes. This will improve traffic flow and safety.

Next year the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities will begin construction of an improved intersection at the Gaffney Road, Airport Way, Richardson Highway, and Steese Highway intersection (referred to as the GARS project). Fort Wainwright’s project being completed beforehand aids AK DOTPF’s final design and allows the Main Gate to operate during their construction.

USAG Alaska DPW coordinated with the City of Fairbanks Engineering Department and AK DOTPF in the planning phase of the project. This was done so they can monitor traffic flows and adjust traffic lights as needed.

As with any major construction project, there will be some accompanying inconveniences. Specifically, Visitor Center processing time may increase, and various access routes and gate operating hours will change. However, multiple traffic congestion mitigation measures will be in effect:

  • Traffic signals along River Road will be reprogrammed.
  • Gate hours will be extended and adjusted.
  • The Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office will provide regular updates about the work and gate changes on social media.

Tune in for more information about how gate operations will change around Fort Wainwright this summer.

The following graphic identifies the hours and flow of traffic at each of the installation access points during the construction project. The changes take effect at 12:01 a.m. June 2:

Alternative Gate Operation Hours
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Alternative Gate Operation Hours - June 2, 2021 through Early October 2021 (Photo Credit: Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office) VIEW ORIGINAL
Alternative Gate Plan
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Alternative Gate Plan (Photo Credit: Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office) VIEW ORIGINAL

U.S. Army Garrison Alaska is committed to the safety of all who work, learn, live, shop and recreate on Fort Wainwright. There will be communication about the Front Gate project from now throughout the summer months.

For more info and any questions, contact us through Fort Wainwright's website.