By Scott Prater
Team Schriever members may have already noticed barricades going up north of the north restricted area portal. Construction crews began a major road construction project in the area Monday.
The project will reconfigure Falcon Parkway leading to the north portal building, transforming the roadway into a two-lane traffic circle that ends short of the portal building.
Drivers entering the restricted area entrapment gate will use a two-lane road that stems from the traffic circle while drivers entering the main parking areas northwest and northeast of the restricted area will be diverted into those areas at points more than 100 yards from the portal building.
“This roadway reconfiguration project is designed to improve safety and security near the restricted area portal,” said Myron Jacobson, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron project management chief. “We’re following Air Force requirements to keep traffic away from restricted-area access points.”
Currently, the roadway includes four lanes that end just north of the portal building.
“This area is a hub of activity, with a large number of people entering the RA in the morning and large group departing the RA in the evening,” Jacobson said. “So from a safety aspect, we’ll have better cross walks and entry and exit walkways that lead to and from the portal. We will also alleviate the large amount of automobile traffic that enters and exits close to the portal.”
The project, which will include new curbing, walkways and landscaping, is slated to be completed in two months.
“This is a high-visibility area, right in the middle of everything,” Jacobson said. “We understand the needs of pedestrians and accommodating pedestrian traffic is a priority.”
Construction crews will also install new lighting fixtures, reroute underground electrical cables and add shrubbery and evergreen landscaping.
Crews will begin by removing existing pavement and earth moving, but they will complete the project in stages so as to allow for rerouting of auto and pedestrian traffic.
“We’ll close off half of the area and complete work there and then reopen that area and close off the other side while construction takes place in the second area,” Jacobson said. “We’re hoping to mitigate interruptions and inconvenience. “
Jacobson said there will be a one-time, temporary shutdown of the entrapment gate, but otherwise, no other closures should occur in connection to this project.
Construction crews are planning to complete the project in June, when they will reopen the entire area.
“This is an important realignment of the existing roadway to support the installation’s traffic needs,” said Robert Blevins 50 CES chief of engineering. “Both pedestrians and drivers will benefit from the new configuration.”