Wright-Patterson readies to open new gate

Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 @ 4:14 PM

The Area B gate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base during a morning rush in February 2019. FILE
The Area B gate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base during a morning rush in February 2019. FILE

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will open a new gate off Ohio 235 for commercial and passenger vehicles to Area A of the base starting Monday.

The gate is located off Ohio 235, also known as North Central Avenue in Fairborn, at the first traffic light north of the Ohio 235/Central Avenue and Ohio 444/Broad Street intersection.

Hours of operation for the new Gate 26A will be weekdays 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., the base said in a statement.

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Commercial vehicle inspection operations will also move to the new Gate 26A, and vehicle inspection operations will cease at Gate 16A beginning Monday (which is Nov. 18).

Wright-Patt is the largest single-site employer in Ohio. The vast majority of base employees live outside the base and use six primary gates to enter the sprawling complex.

For commercial vehicles, the base averages about 135 vehicles per day that come through the inspection area, a base spokesman said Tuesday.

Passenger vehicles are far more numerous — the base averages about 34,000 per day, entering through all of the base’s various gates.

It takes a lot of effort and manpower to get them on and off, Fred Tito, a traffic engineer with the 88th Air Base Wing Civil Engineering Group, has said.

A gate study to measure inbound and outbound traffic patterns was conducted by Wright-Patt’s 88th Civil Engineer Squadron’s traffic engineering section, the base announced last year. The study, which was to be reviewed by leaders of Wright-Patt’s 88th Air Base Wing, will aim to help the base better manage its personnel and resources at gates.

In 2017, the base upgraded gate 19B on National Road, at a cost of $1.3 million. The project was part of millions of dollars in planned improvements designed to thwart intruders to the base.

Construction to consolidate Gate 26A and Gate 16A has been in the works for some time. The project cost $12.6 million and was long expected to open sometime in the fall of 2019.

The 88th Air Base Wing will hold a ribbon-cutting for the new gate Wednesday.

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Around 27,000 people go to work every day at Wright-Patterson, making it the largest single-site employer in the state of Ohio. The vast majority of base employees live outside the base and use six primary gates to enter the sprawling complex.

In 2017, the base upgraded gate 19B on National Road, at a cost of $1.3 million. The project was part of millions of dollars in planned improvements designed to thwart intruders to the base.

For commercial vehicles, the base averages about 135 vehicles per day that come through the inspection area, according to a base spokesman. 

Passenger vehicles are far more numerous -- the base averages 34,000 per day, entering through all of the various gates.

Construction to consolidate Gate 26A and Gate 16A has been in the works for some time. The project cost $12.6 million and was long expected to open sometime in the fall of 2019.