By WLOX Staff
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Keesler Air Force Base is closing its main entrance from Highway 90 for most of the summer so the security barriers at the gate can be upgraded.
The White Avenue gate will close from Monday until about Aug. 10. More than 7,000 vehicles use the gate on an average day, according to traffic counts from Gulf Regional Planning Commission.
The Meadows Drive and Pass Road gates will remain open, and the Judge Sekul Avenue gate will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. work days.
"The Police Department's traffic division will be monitoring traffic patterns, and we'll do what we can to keep traffic moving safely and efficiently," said acting Biloxi Police Chief Linda Atterberry, "but traffic is going to back up, as it does anytime you have an interruption like this. Keesler is also doing gate security checks, as they should, so that will be a factor, too.
"What we're asking all motorists to do," Atterberry said, "is give yourself more time if you're traveling to or near Keesler. Be patient and understanding."
Keesler also announced that its visitor control center at the White Avenue gate will remain open even though the gate is closed.
"The visitor control center is located outside the base perimeter and won't be affected by the closure of the White Avenue gate," said Capt. Jason Williams, 81st Security Forces Squadron commander. "Visitors will still have access, and once vetted through the VCC, they'll be directed to one of the other open gates. Commercial vehicles will continue to use the commercial gate on the north side of the installation next to Keesler Medical Center."