Grade Lane realignment complete

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Joshua Horton
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
After months of construction, the realignment of Grade Lane was completed July 1.

The effort was part of an ongoing project to unite two sections of the base, which were formerly separated by Grade Lane, in order to comply with anti-terrorism standards and minimize safety issues, according to Lt. Col. Phillip Howard, commander of the 123rd Civil Engineer Squadron.

"Previously, when people transited Grade Lane in vehicles, they were close to our facilities," Howard said. "One of the main reasons the Department of Defense wanted to do this was to comply with anti-terrorism force protection regulations. Rerouting the road around the base and relocating the gate allows us to meet most of our ATFP standards.

"There was also a safety issue with our Airmen crossing the road on foot," Howard continued. "With people walking back and forth from the main base to the Annex, there have been a couple of close calls."

According to Howard, the project will provide more room for base expansion.

"A side benefit to all this is that the base has gained some additional space to grow into," he said. "When you consider that we're landlocked on all sides by United Parcel Service and Preston Highway, there weren't many opportunities for base expansion. This project gives us about three full acres of extra space."

The effort took years of planning and collaboration with multiple agencies, Howard noted.

"It was a difficult project, and it required a lot of people," he said. "We're limited on how much money we can spend, so we really had to fit this thing into a narrow gap, but I think it's really good for the base."

Though the road has been reopened, there is still more work to be done.

"Our first priority is to re-establish the main gate," Howard said. "Once we do that, we can discuss what to do with the extra space."