Osan to close Beta Gate for road repairs
Stars and Stripes March 18, 2008
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Osan Air Base will close one gate and open another during repaving of one of its most heavily traveled roadways, officials said Friday.
The Beta Gate was to shut down Saturday and is projected to reopen April 22. In the meantime motorists can use the nearby Doolittle Gate.
The base’s Main Gate and AFOC Gate, open to privately owned vehicles, will operate as usual.
“It will reduce wear and tear on vehicles coming into the base that have had a bumpy ride coming in from the Beta Gate for the past year,” base spokesman Capt. John W. Ross said of the repaving.
Workers will repave about a three-block section of Beta Gate Road, which runs from that gate into the base’s interior as far as Perimeter Road. The project will cost $235,000.
Doolittle Gate will be open to outbound traffic at all times until the repaving project is finished.
For inbound traffic, Doolittle will be open to contractors from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and to all other privately owned vehicles from 6:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
“We have done a series of spot repairs for the past year on this road,” Ross said of Beta Gate Road. “And over the past year, the road has washed out often. … The road has eroded away from rainfall.”
Before June 2006, Doolittle Gate was the entry point for commercial vehicles and for large vehicles such as those used by construction firms working on base. But that month, officials closed it to traffic, partly for security reasons.
They instead made Beta Gate the entry point for all commercial vehicles. At the time, officials said use of that gate would allow for faster traffic flow. And a search pit at the gate would enable security forces to more thoroughly inspect incoming vehicles.
Since then, contractors and other commercial drivers have had to stop at Doolittle, sign in at the security desk, drive to the Beta Gate and enter the base there.
But during the repaving of Beta Gate Road, Doolittle will be both the sign-in and entry point for commercial and large vehicles.
“We’re fortunate that Doolittle Gate is so close” to Beta, about a three-minute drive away, Ross said. “It should be a fairly simple reroute for the time the Beta Gate is closed.”