10/25/2012 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- The arrival of a new, prefabricated Gate 1A guard shack is one of the most recent highlights of the State Route 444 project at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The 1.5-mile-long federal portion of SR 444 that bisected Area A was closed Oct. 9 to improve base security.
The guard shack was delivered Oct. 24 and placed on its concrete pad on the former SR 444. Utility connections have been made, said Fred Tito, a design manager in the 88th Civil Engineer Directorate and manager of the project.
Additional Gate 1A infrastructure will be constructed the week of Oct. 29 as a canopy goes up for the protection of the Security Forces, Mr. Tito said.
Another highlight of the project is the progress being made on the Spruce Way connection from behind the Hope Hotel and Richard C. Holbrooke Conference Center to the former SR 444. The connection is expected to open Nov. 2, to the intersection with Gates 8A and 38A at the south entrance to Kittyhawk Center and to Gate 9A near the Wright-Patterson Medical Center.
"In the future, you'll be able to get on Spruce Way and get over to AFMC (Air Force Materiel Command) HQ or NASIC (National Air and Space Intelligence Center) and you won't have to go through the Wright-Patterson Medical Center traffic and vice versa," Mr. Tito said.
"Obviously there is some internal congestion right now, but people are settling down into the new traffic pattern and we've been taking care of the congestion where we can. A lot of it will be resolved as construction is complete and the new Spruce Way opens."
Most of the final grading of the new section of the Spruce Way connector is complete and the roadway base is down; pavement will be laid the week of Oct. 29. In addition, parts of the former SR 444 pavement will be removed, the entire length repaved, then repainted to establish bike lanes from Kittyhawk Center to Chidlaw Road along the entire new Spruce Way. Most of the new Spruce Way, from Chidlaw Road to Kittyhawk Center, will open Nov. 2. The grand opening of the new Gate 1A is scheduled for Nov. 19.
In another development, the base expects to add another left-hand turn lane from SR 444 into Gate 12A to relieve congestion, Mr. Tito said. The traffic signal there belongs to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and will be altered, although no timeline for that has been established yet. Base CE personnel are working with ODOT on that now, Mr. Tito said. Pavement marking and signage changes will be made, too.