By Andrea Sutherland
Post officials announced Wednesday the opening of Tank Route C to drivers operating privately-owned vehicles in an effort to alleviate traffic congestion as construction begins at the intersection of Titus Boulevard and Butts Road.
Beginning Tuesday, the southbound concrete tank trail from Magrath Avenue, near the Central Vehicle Wash Facility and the Fire Training Center, to Butts Road will be open for personal vehicle traffic from 4:30-6:30 a.m. Monday-Friday, a press release states.
“(Drivers) are going to get backed up at Titus (Boulevard) and Specker (Avenue) if they don’t use this,” said Carl McPherson, deputy director, Directorate of Emergency Services. “This is to alleviate that traffic congestion. This is just another means to keep them from coming up to Titus and Specker.”
Officials said they considered a multitude of pros and cons when considering the alternative, including the lack of safety controls at intersections of the tank trail and roads, the different speed limits for wheeled vehicles at 30 mph versus track vehicles at 20 mph and a possible chokepoint at the intersections of the tank trail and Specker Avenue and the “crow’s foot” at Butts Road.
“Ultimately, safety and relieving traffic was our No. 1 concern,” McPherson said.
Additional signage along the trail will also be installed, said McPherson.
According to an official fact sheet, about 30 percent of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Soldiers living in barracks travel the Titus-Butts corridor. Thousands of Soldiers assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne); 13th Air Support Operation Squadron; 242nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion; 1st Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment; 4th BCT, 4th Inf. Div.; and 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Inf. Div., accessing post through Gate 20 will have the opportunity to use the bypass and have “a more direct and efficient commute to their duty locations.”
To avoid congestion, officials encourage drivers to use gates 19 and 6 to access Wilderness Road and Butts Army Airfield. Drivers using the tank trail or Titus Boulevard should allow extra time to get to their destination, particularly during peak traffic periods.
Construction to widen Titus Boulevard and Butts Road is expected to be complete by May 17.