MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The commute on and off Camp Lejeune is about to get a little easier. The long-awaited Wilson Boulevard Gate located at the intersection of Bell Fork Road and NC-24 is scheduled to open to Marine Corps Base personnel for limited hours coming on the base weekday mornings and 24/7 coming off beginning July 31.
A portion of the new gate entry road network, starting at NC-24 and ending at Brewster Boulevard, will open weekdays for a limited time to alleviate morning traffic and allow commuters to leave the base through this access point at any time. Non-DOD card holders must still go through the Main Gate Visitors Center to obtain a pass.
Two inbound lanes will be available for travel from 5:30 to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday. At 8 a.m., both the gate area and inbound Wilson Boulevard lanes from Tarawa Terrace to Brewster Boulevard will be closed to traffic.
Outbound lanes will be open at all times. Future construction plans will add a guard shack with overhead canopy and a visitors’ center. The additional road network leading to the Sneads Ferry Road interchange connecting commuters to Mainside is scheduled to be completed October 2015, according to Emily Sylvester, Deputy, Installation Development for Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
“Opening Wilson Boulevard will reduce the stress for on-base commuters and ease congestion on roadways both on and off-base,” she said.
Sylvester said the reason the inbound roads would be closed after 8 a.m. was to prevent commuters from accessing Wilson Boulevard through the Tarawa Terrace gate via Bougainville Rd, further stressing Tarawa Terrace residential areas with increased traffic.
“The opening of the Wilson Boulevard Gate is significant in that it’s the first part of a multi-phased effort to alleviate the traffic issue that has plagued Camp Lejeune for years,” said Col. James W. Clark, the deputy commander of Marine Corps Installations East, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “The commanding general has been absolutely committed to getting this new gate entry open as soon as possible and we couldn’t be more excited for commuters who are going to find it a little easier getting to and from work - especially our hospital staff and all those who frequently use Brewster Boulevard.”
Construction on the new base entry road project began in 2010 with the goal of providing an additional access point on and off the base.
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