RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
The South gate at Randolph Air Force Base officially opened today, but more work is coming there and at the base's East and West gates, where civil engineers have begun preparatory work for the installation of three-foot-high pop-up metal denial barriers, high curbs and walls to stop speeding unauthorized vehicles.
"In case there's a speeding intruder, these measures will protect the base," said Peggy Hill, 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron project civil engineer. "If an intruder tried to drive through a gate, sensors near the pop-up barriers would detect high speed and alert Security Forces, who would hit a button and the denial barriers would pop up. If they try to jump a curb, the curbs will be about two feet high, and there will be nearby decorative walls sturdy enough to take the hit of a fast-moving vehicle -- and stop it."
Ms. Hill added preparatory work on the base's East gate denial barrier project started this week. That involves staging equipment, erecting signage, meeting with contractors and sub-contractors, performing associated demolition, and starting electrical work for the lighting and sensor installation.
Engineers expect this $1.2 million project will be completed near mid-October. Traffic is expected to be adversely affected at the East gate only during the installation of the denial barriers themselves, which is tentatively planned for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, said Zak Payne, 902nd CES supervising engineer.
Ms. Hill added preparatory work similar to what is now being accomplished at the East gate began at the South gate about two months ago near where it feeds into Perimeter Road. Engineers expect to finish that $1.2 million denial barrier project in mid-July -- and have no firm information yet about how or when traffic at the South gate may be adversely affected during the actual barrier installations there.
Contractors are also doing similar preparatory work for the denial barriers, curbs and walls to be added at the West gate. Upon completion in mid-October, that project will have cost about $2 million, Ms. Hill said, adding that as with the South gate project, no information is presently available about how or when that traffic gate may be adversely affected during the actual barrier installations.
However, Ms. Hill did say that base workers and residents will definitely be given three week's notice of impositions on traffic flows at the gates for the denial barrier installations before they happen.
"It's for all of our safety," she added, "so we're asking that the people be patient with our construction."