It's designed to improve access and enhance security at the Port of
Gulfport. The port authority board of commissioners held a ribbon
cutting Thursday morning for a new security gate at the west side of the
The six-lane entrance will accommodate existing cargo
traffic, with an eye toward the future. The federal Department of
Homeland Security paid the vast majority of the $2 million cost.
Port Executive Director Jonathan Daniels calls the dedication of the new gateway a watershed moment for improved security and access.
takes us into the next generation of security and access," said
Daniels, in remarks he made just before the ribbon was cut.
new security gate can handle six lanes of truck traffic at the Port of
Gulfport. Those lanes can also be switched from incoming to outgoing
traffic as demand dictates.
"Having this facility in place meets access control needs as well as security needs, into the future," said the director.
authority vice chairman, John Rester, cut the ribbon to make the
dedication official. The new gate will actually open in a week or two,
following some finishing touches that include installing phone and data
"This is just another step in the ongoing restoration and
expansion of the port. It's a very important step because it goes hand
in hand with our homeland security issues. It's a new secure gate that
gives us better ingress and egress. We're just delighted," said
Port Director Daniels says the six lane gate will ease the occasional congestion that occurs when cargo flow is busiest.
you look now, we have three access points. And it's one road in, one
road out. So, we have one lane in, one lane out. And by doing that you
can end up with choke points," Daniels explained. "It really allows us
the opportunity to take any of the bottle necks, take any of the choke
points out of accessing the port or leaving the port on those days
we're having a lot of dispatch of cargo."
Security at the port is
a shared responsibility between the federal government and the State of
Mississippi. Port security was tightened significantly after 9/11,
meaning extremely limited public access.
"We're okay with that.
Because ultimately we understand that because not only are we working
hand in glove in making sure we provide that flexible access, but we
also need to make sure that the general public is safe," said Daniels.
port authority vice chairman says the Port of Gulfport is making
tremendous progress. He pointed to the new lease and development with
Island View casino and the deal with Dupont to expand its port presence.
Those two projects represent $130 million of active economic
development at the port.
Thursday, July 31 2014 2:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:17:53 GMT
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