By Mr. Andrew R McIntyre (Jackson)June 21, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Drivers entering Fort Jackson through Gate 2 will soon have to find a temporary alternative and allow some extra time for their commute. The gate is scheduled to close for renovations July 9 through Sept. 20.
The upgrades are part of an effort to accommodate traffic and meet Department of Defense regulations for security control access points on post. The gate will receive additional lanes, existing lanes will be widened, and a new sign will be built. The cost to complete this project has yet to be determined.
During the renovation, Gate 2 will be completely closed to all in- and outbound traffic. Officials are asking motorists to plan for delays during the renovation period.
"If you're coming from West Columbia, and you normally make it here on time, I suggest leaving West Columbia 15 to 20 minutes earlier," said Fernando Vasquez, installation physical security officer.
Starting July 9, Gate 4 will be open only for inbound traffic from 5 to 9 a.m. to help facilitate morning traffic flow. The gate will be open around the clock.
Vasquez said the garrison commander was presented with two options to renovate the gate. The better option was to complete the gate in a one-phase three-month project. Many different factors played into the decision of completing the renovation during this month, Vasques said.
The gate upgrades will allow the post to maintain its safety standards, Vasquez said.
"Safety is not going to change, because we have a very proactive police program here on Fort Jackson. You will still have to get checked in order to come on post," Vasquez said.
He said the changes will not only be with regard to safety, though.
"(The community) can expect to see a better looking gate, and we are going to be able to accommodate for commercial trucks," Vasquez said.
Directorate of Emergency Services officials urge commuters who choose Gate 1 on Fort Jackson Boulevard as their alternate access point not to block the access road from the King's Grant community when waiting to enter the gate.
All personnel accessing Fort Jackson between July 9 and Sept. 15 should allow additional time to ensure they arrive at their destination on time.