Expect detours: Fort Wainwright main gate to close over summer for upgrades

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Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 5:12 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Starting on June 2, the main gate to Fort Wainwright (FTW) will be closed for repairs and improvements. During the closure, there will be additional gates opened to access and exit the post, as well as additional hours at existing gates.

Jason Millett the chief of physical security at Fort Wainwright said, “We’re improving the roads by adding cement in certain stop-and-go areas and by improving our traffic circle here, and then also to give us additional parking for commercial gate entry and to improve our visitor center parking.”

While the base is closed, FTW will be opening a temporary gate on Lazelle Road which is at the intersection of the Johansen Expressway and Steese Highway. Millett says that Trainer Gate will remain open. From 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., the gate will have two-way traffic. The rest of the time, the gate will be for exiting only.

Millett said that people should not try to make Trainer Gate the main entrance to post. “Trainer is already at capacity, so with [main] gate closing down it’s very important that they understand that Lazelle gate will get them there better and faster.”

The Lazelle gate will have the temporary visitor center and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The gate will be an incoming gate only. The Badger Road Gate will also be open 24 hours a day.

From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, a temporary gate for those exiting the base will be opened to the Richardson Highway for right turns only.

Millett said there will be delays. “I anticipate there’s going to be a slight delay, about two-three minutes, maybe longer in getting a pass depending on peak hours.” He said those trying to get on the base should plan for extra time.

According to Millett, the project will also improve the parking area of the visitor center. “There is going to be a one way direction to go to the visitor center. The parking will be at a 45 degree angle so it improves backing and traffic accident reduction, and it also will give the commercial vehicles ability to be off the roadway and out of harm’s way.”

The project will last until October 1, or until it is completed.

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