Würzburg scheduled to reopen gate after upgrade
WüRZBURG, Germany — The west gate at Leighton Barracks is scheduled to reopen at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, three months after it was closed for a security upgrade, base officials said Monday.
The gate is considered by many soldiers who work on the barracks to be the most convenient because it is the closest of Leighton’s three gates to downtown Würzburg. Although it has been built to handle both inbound and outbound traffic, it will continue to be used only by vehicles leaving the base, said Donald Smith, community manager for Leighton’s area support team.
Smith said the project has been planned for two years as part of an upgrade to meet new Department of Defense security requirements. It is part of a $1 million package of security upgrades around the west gate that also included extension of the Leighton’s security fence to include the base’s chapel, which previously lay just outside the gate, and the addition of bomb-resistant features to the 1st Infantry Division headquarters building.
The final piece of the four-phase project, the uniting of the parking lots for the chapel and the headquarters building, is not completed.
Cleveland Morrison Jr., the support team’s force protection officer, said the security improvements at the gate include surveillance cameras, hardening of the guard shack to make it bullet-resistant, and the addition of a turnaround lane.
The west gate formerly was the base’s primary gate, but it has been closed to inbound traffic since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The Gerbrunn gate, at the east end of the base, now is the primary route in and out of the base. Smith said that gate is scheduled for a security makeover beginning in September. He said the Gerbrunn gate will remain open while it is under construction.