The commander of Wright-Patterson is asking commuters to have patience and to prepare for traffic congestion when one of the busiest gateways to the sprawling base closes for weeks next month.
Gate 12A off Ohio 444 next to Air Force Materiel Command headquarters will be closed at 6 p.m. April 3 and is scheduled to reopen the morning of April 27 to construct security upgrades in a $920,000 project, base officials said.
The base gateway can have up to 2,000 motorists per hour at peak morning rush hour times, said Col. John M. Devillier, commander of the 88th Air Base Wing. Wright-Patterson is the largest single-site employer in Ohio with a workforce of more than 26,000.
“Security is one of my top priorities as an installation commander and unfortunately the closing of this gate is necessary to make some upgrades and there will be some inconvenience and we’re asking everybody to be patient,” Devillier said Friday at a press conference at 88th Air Base Wing headquarters about the closure. “… The plan has been on the books for some time for that particular gate and funding just recently became available.”
Commuters can access Gate 1A, along Springer Road, in Fairborn or Gate 15A off Ohio 844 as an alternative. Gate 15A will temporarily become a 24-hour access gate during construction, base officials said. They’ve also encouraged motorists to enter through Gate 1A because it has fewer traffic back-ups.
Officials have declined to discuss the specific security changes at the gate.
Central NICC Joint Venture, of Vienna Va., and Central Ltd & DCI JV, of Dublin, Ohio, are the prime contractors.