BRAC causing traffic problems?

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) -  Three hundred Armour School soldiers and their families have already made the move to Fort Benning from Fort Knox as Base Realignment and Closure continues.

Over the next few months, more than 7,000 more will follow.

With the deadline for realignment only six months away, a new report from the National Academy of Sciences reveals the changes are creating serious traffic problems on and around military installations.

"Traffic that's coming in now has created a lot more congestion on the roadways. There has been a slight increase in traffic accidents although not serious traffic accidents they do congest the roadways when they do occur," said Major Joseph LaBranche, Operations Officers for the Fort Benning Police Division.

Fort Benning is trying to meet the increased demands on roads. $3.5 billion is being spent on construction- $250 million on roads and infrastructure.

$90 million is being spent to redo the main roads on post and another $140 million dollars is going to create 180 miles of new roads in training areas. The new roads include 40 paved roads, dirt roads and tank trails.

"We've done several major projects- one is the widening of Dixie Road from two lanes to four lanes over a 6 mile stretch from just about the intersection of 1-185 down to Lawson Army Airfield," said Rick Clapp, Engineering Division Chief and Director of Public Works for Fort Benning.

On Marne Road in front of Martin Army Hospital and the busy shopping spots, our cameras caught the bumper to bumper rush hour. The bridge will soon be widened from three to five lanes.

For commuters, another traffic headache is the long lines at the main gate at Interstate 185 and some of the smaller secondary gates.

A brand new gate at Harmony Church is the solution, according to engineers. When it opens in a few weeks, it will be the largest on post."

Harmony Church is now home base for the Armour School and where all of the personnel will be coming and going.

"That will be larger than the main post access control point that is on 185 right now so that will take a large portion of the increased traffic that's going to be going into Harmony Church with the Armour School," added Clapp.

By law, BRAC construction and road work must be completed by September 15th, 2011.

Engineers say crews are on track to meet that deadline, working double shifts and weekends.

Fort Benning Police officials remind drivers on post that speeding fines are doubled in construction zones.

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