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Beginning Monday speed humps and a speed limit reduction at the front gate will keep drivers at a safe speed when entering and leaving the Combat Center.

Photo by Cpl. Brian A. Tuthill

Get ready for slower, bumpier ride at main gate;

27 Jan 2006 | Cpl. Brian A. Tuthill

New speed humps will be installed by the Provost Marshal’s Office Sunday and Monday night as part of an effort to slow traffic and make the gate safer.

“We are going to be putting three speed humps in the inbound lanes just prior to the gate on Sunday to keep traffic slow,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Stahl, PMO accident investigation chief who is heading the project. “For the outbound lanes, we are putting in the speed humps as well but on Monday. Additionally, the speed on Adobe Road will be reduced to 35 miles per hour both ways on base and 20 outbound at the gate.”

The installation of the speed humps and reducing speeds will fulfill a tri-fold mission, said Capt. James P. Dollard, Deputy Provost Marshal.

“This is for the safety of our military police who are at the gate, to protect our automatic barrier system and to upgrade our current force protection measures,” said Dollard. “This will be a very fast installation that will happen literally overnight.”

For the Marines who serve as sentries at the gate, the idea of slowing cars that race by them will help them feel more safe while standing post, said Lance Cpl. Ryan King, a patrol supervisor with PMO.

“We have Marines walking around the area 24 hours a day, and if people are flying by at 50 or faster, then those are just unsafe conditions,” said the 22-year-old Corvallis, Ore., native.

As traffic speeds through the main gate, it passes over a sophisticated automatic barrier system hidden in the road. Marines can deploy these barricades instantly with the push of a button, but cars driving over it at high speeds tend to wear and damage the system faster, which could possibly pose a threat not only to motorists, but to military policemen as well, said Stahl.

Another reason PMO elected to install the new speed humps is to upgrade the anti-terrorism force protection level of the main gate, which would allow sentries more time to better handle a threat or emergency situation, according to Stahl.

The speed humps, not to be confused with bumps, said Stahl, will be gradual enough to force vehicles to slow, but are not as jolting as speed bumps, which are shorter and more abrupt.

“The speed of travel was the whole reason we chose the humps over others, they are rated for about 20 miles per hour,” Stahl said. “We didn’t want to essentially stop everyone at five miles per hour. That would severely affect traffic.”

The humps are easy to install and are designed in sections that can easily be replaced if heavily-worn spots develop or damage occurs, saving both time and money, said Dollard.

Some people may have mixed feeling about the changes in speed and speed humps, but everyone should get used to them fairly quickly, said King.

“I think it will take a little while for everyone to get used to because it’s going to be a change from what it’s been out here,” King said. “There may be a little congestion at the main gate at peak hours at first, but I don’t think that it will take too long for everybody to adjust to it.”