Construction began last week on one of the final pieces of a project expected to improve security and connect portions of the Springfield Air National Guard Base.
The project includes the installation of a new fence on the north side of the old Ohio 794 to connect with the Ohio Army National Guard fence and existing 178th ISR Wing perimeter fence. A reinforced gate will be installed across the former Ohio 794 to allow traffic into base during emergencies.
In 2013, about $2.3 million was spent to relocate Ohio 794 to meet military security standards at the base. A new stretch of road was built west of Peacock Road to connect with an existing section of Ohio 794 east of the base. The military, city of Springfield, Clark County Engineer’s Office and the Ohio Department of Transportation teamed up on the project.
The project to relocate Ohio 794 between U.S. 68 and Ohio 72 was expected provide additional security by increasing the distance between the roads and military facilities at the Air National Guard Base.
The latest construction is expected to take between two and three weeks, said Capt. Michael Gibson, a public affairs specialist for the 178 Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard.
Workers at the base will still be able to drive onto the base during construction. A new $1.8 million main gate was completed in August last year in conjunction with the Ohio 794 relocation, and will be operational after construction is complete, Gibson said.
The relocation was needed in part due to post-Sept. 11 distance requirements for roads near military buildings, the military said.
“It’s enhancing our security and it’s also connecting us with the armory across the road on the army side as well as the 251st and 269th Hobson Communication Complex,” Gibson said of the project.
The fence is one of the final steps in a project that will improve security at the base, said Tom Franzen, assistant city manager and economic development director for Springfield.
“This is just a continuation of what the Guard has been working on, which is to meet those new force protection standards which did require realignment of the roadway,” Franzen said. “The heavy lifting for the project was completed about a year ago, and this follow-on work is the fencing component that will secure the new road from the base.”
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