3/7/2014 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Beginning March 17, five of the six lanes of the Russell Parkway gate will be open to inbound-only traffic on weekdays between 6 and 8 a.m.
The change will increase 'throughput' on to the base during the morning, without compromising security.
It is the result of considerable coordination involving base and county officials, as well as feedback about morning traffic concerns from the entire Team Robins workforce.
"We want to try something new and different to solve a persistent problem," said Col. Chris Hill, Installation commander. "This is a test. If it proves to be a success, we will work together with our mission partners to ensure gate operations are sustainable."
"The biggest concern of employees is wait times at the gate; they're fed up with that. I will continue to work with base leadership to resolve and put this behind us," said Robert Tidwell, president of AFGE 987.
Here's how the Russell Gate change will work: The two outbound lanes closest to the guard building at the gate will be opened to inbound traffic.
That traffic will be supplied by vehicles in the gate's 'normal' left lane, which will be diverted further left, just ahead of the guard house, to one of the 'additional' inbound lanes.
The sixth lane will be closed to all traffic. The Air National Guard Gate will also be closed, to add more manpower to the Russell gate.
Once inside the gate, vehicles in the furthest left of the two lanes can merge back into the right-hand traditional or 'normal' inbound lanes before reaching 11th Street, at which time drivers must turn left onto 11th Street.
Vehicles in the right lane should merge into the 'normal' inbound lanes before 10th Street.
To accommodate the additional inbound lanes, the 'normal' outbound lanes on Robins Parkway will be blocked at 10th Street, and traffic from the west side of 11th Street on to Russell Parkway will also be blocked, from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m. Additionally, there will be no left-hand turns onto 11th Street from the 'normal' inbound lanes between 5:30 and 8:30 a.m.
To further keep drivers safe, the speed limit between the gate and 10th Street will be reduced from 35 to 25 mph.
Officials will monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed.
Base residents and other drivers trying to exit the base during peak morning traffic should use the Martin Luther King, Watson and Green Street gates.
3/8/2014 11:03:21 AM ET WOW this could be a great change thanks for staying pro-active Robins
jed, United States
3/7/2014 5:26:05 PM ET I am personally not too excited for this as now my children and everyone else that live on base will have to backtrack and drive out of their way to get to school in the mornings. The Russell gate is our closest gate to get to being that we live on base. All in all this choice will make it so much more difficult for those of us that live on base. Not a very considerate plan for sure.
Cyndi D., RobinsAFB
3/7/2014 2:28:19 PM ET Why not open all three inbound lanes at the Watson Gate Routing 3 lanes into 2 doesn't make any sense