YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Hoping to rein in drivers eager to zoom through school zones, base officials recently plopped down several large speed bumps in those areas.

Initially aimed at curbing speeding problems in Yokota’s housing areas, the effort is being carried out by the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron under an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract. All roads surrounding Yokota High School, Yokota Middle School, Yokota East Elementary School and Yokota West Elementary School already have received the speed bumps.

“They are all being put in under a different task order” than the work in housing areas, said 2nd Lt. Shawn Christensen, the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron’s chief of construction management. “They actually started off in housing and are only now getting the school zones. We’re not certain how many will be put in because there could be multiple requests and task orders under this type of contract.”

Yokota West Elementary School principal Lee Kirsch said the speed bumps are needed to safeguard students.

“While most drivers control their speeds, there are some who ignore the 20-kilometer limit — thereby endangering children,” he said.

The local Japanese contractor needed only a day or two to install the speed bumps, Christensen said, so many motorists were caught by surprise.

“They provide increased awareness that they are driving in a restricted speed area because of a school crossing,” he added.

Elsewhere on base, civil engineer officials have wrapped a web of scaffolding around the water tower on Yokota’s west side for use on a repainting project.

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