GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Work has been underway on the new main entrance at the Air National Guard Combat Readiness Training Center in Gulfport for more than a year now. The new entrance is needed for the base to be in compliance with the anti-terrorism setback criteria created by the Department of Defense (DoD).
According to base officials, the completion date of Sept. 30, 2014, will be moved back further.
The completion date is being delayed because of old infrastructure issues with the truck inspection canopy, and special glass needs to be installed for the guard shack, officials said. The old infrastructure hasn't made the project any easier
"Twenty years ago, this is where Hewes Avenue ran, and that's been straightened and relocated probably about 15 years ago, but we're dealing with a lot of old infrastructure. It's very difficult. It's very time consuming to get a project like this off the ground," said Maj. Kyle Jones, who is the Deputy Base Civil Engineer.
Other than those issues, this new entrance to the Air National Guard Combat Readiness Training Center will meet the new DoD anti-terrorism setback criteria, and vehicles can begin traveling through this gate.
According to Jones, this new entrance features an 18 inch curb, which is 13 inches higher than the curb at the current gate.
Other additions include three entrance lanes, two additional guard shacks to handle peak traffic times and a sentry booth for security guards.
"We have a truck inspection canopy that will allow your trucks and trailers to be inspected. As we stand now, the truck and trailer actually has to go inside the base to be inspected," said Jones.
Jones says the old entrance is too close to inhabited facilities and didn't meet the DoD's new requirements, so the new access point is much further away.
Though the completion date for the $6.7 million project is set for Sept. 30, base officials say the opening will likely happen a few months later. Work for this project began back in Dec. of 2012.