Local News

Fort Bragg Sets Up Gates To Reduce Traffic On Post

Posted April 17, 2000

— Big gates are going up along many popular roads leading into Fort Bragg. They will be used to limit access on post, but only during times when there are high security risks.

Eight gates are going up around the base to keep traffic down on post.

"It's only going to be used during an actual terrorist threat we know about or a deployment of Fort Bragg soldiers going around the world where Fort Bragg might become a target for somebody who didn't like what actions we were taking," says Fort Bragg spokesman Jim Hinnant.

When the security threat is not normal but high, everybody will be required to pass through a restricted access checkpoint to get on post.

"All the time would cause a major inconvenience, but doing it during a major deployment, I think it's a good idea," says soldier Emil Austin. "It also secures the soldiers' families when the soldiers aren't present."

During the Gulf War, concrete barricades were used to prevent traffic on the army post, but leaders say they took too long to install in high-risk areas where there were immediate threats. The new limited access plan is their solution.

Not everyone is crazy about the plan. Stacy Bailey uses Fort Bragg backroads to travel from Fayetteville to Southern Pines every day.

"I don't like it," Bailey says. "Everybody is so used to going in and out of that post, you aren't going to know day to day if it will be closed or not."

Eleven access points are also being installed at Simmons Army Airfield.

At one point several years ago, there was talk of making Fort Bragg a closed post with a gate surrounding it. The plan was deemed impossible because of the cost and because several state roads -- like Highway 87 -- run through post.

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