LAYTON, Utah - Drivers who use the south gate of Hill Air Force Base will be detoured for the next eight weeks.
Starting Mar 22, engineers will close the South Gate for both inbound and outbound traffic while crews upgrade security measures. The upgrades include raised speed tables and a new pop-up wedge barrier.
Drivers will be diverted from the south gate to four other gates: East, Southwest, West and Roy.
“I think every day is going to be rough just because of how traffic is,” said Brandon Wood, who works on base. “It’s just going to mess with the flow of traffic in and out. Most people use the south gate.”
An estimated 20,000 people use the south gate every day. Hill AFB installed the existing speed tables in 2014 to try and slow traffic down going onto the base. Base engineer Harry Briemaster said the tables will be raised.
“We built them at the lower standard out there,” Briemaster said. “As we were exploring the efficiencies out there, we found that it didn’t damper the traffic flow as we were anticipating.”
The wedge barriers will prevent unauthorized vehicles from getting on base. Briemaster said the hydraulically-powered barrier will be more reliable and easier to service.
During construction, the south gate will be completely inaccessible, including the South Gate visitor’s center. Hill AFB will open the East Gate and the Southwest Gate from 4:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday.
The West and Roy Gates will be open 24/7 for the duration of the construction.
Briemaster said the gates should be able to accommodate the extra traffic, but motorist Robin Walker said she worries moving the cars to the other gates will just put strain on neighborhoods that aren’t used to that much traffic.
“Nobody will prepare ahead of time,” Walker said. “Everybody will complain a little bit, and it’ll be really frustrating to get to work tomorrow. But it’ll all work out in the end, I guess.”
Briemaster said they hope that people will be able to adjust to the change within a couple of days. Construction will continue through May 15, weather permitting.