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Gate expansion to cause delays

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Users of the Peterson Air Force Base North Gate may have noticed some changes as they drive in the gate. The old visitor's center which once stood there, was torn down last fall as part of a renovation project to make room for the lanes to be widened this spring.
 
The nearly $479,000 renovation project is required by Unified Facilities Criteria 4-010-01.

"The primary purpose of the project is for anti-terrorism force protection enhancements to the existing gate," said Brian Hub, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron project manager.

As an added benefit, the renovation project will also increase safety for ID card checkers at the gate.

"We're doing things such as widening the roads, primarily on the inbound side, so we can add raised concrete islands for the ID checkers to stand on to provide better safety for them," Hub said.

Since the construction of the new visitor's center at the west gate, the old north gate visitor's center was hardly used, and it had to be demolished to make room for the wider lanes, Hub said.

A canopy will also be installed over the three inbound lanes.

Installing the canopy is going to make up the bulk of the construction. "The new canopy has to have large foundations under the road," Hub said, and the road will have to be torn up to lay the foundation.

The gate will never be entirely closed during construction; however, drivers can expect delays with fewer lanes in service this spring. "What we've done is developed a modified traffic plan so, for example, if we (shut down) the outbound lanes, we'll have traffic go both directions on those two inbound lanes," Hub said. "So the gate will always be open, but it will just be harder to get in and out."

To complete the project, a secondary guard station is also going to be built further down Peterson Boulevard for security forces to use in higher force protection conditions.

Work should soon begin in earnest with the advent of spring. "The contractor has what's called a winter exclusion period. Basically from 15 November to 15 March they're not required to work," Hub said, because of the cold weather.

The project is expected to be complete near the end of July.

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