WARNER ROBINS -- A change in how traffic flows into the Russell Parkway gate at Robins Air Force Base appears to be making it easier for people to enter the base during peak hours.
The persistent problem of wait times at the gates should get even better come Monday, when the Martin Luther King Jr. gate reopens.
Almost a month ago the base implemented a major change at the Russell Parkway gate, the busiest at the base, in which all outbound lanes were closed from 6-8 a.m. Two of those lanes became inbound lanes to increase the traffic flow during peak hours.
Col. Patricia Ross, vice commander of the 78th Air Base Wing, said the change has been working even better than expected.
It has been phenomenal, she said. There is no wait to get in at Russell.
As a result, the waits at other gates have also improved, she said.
Tommy Gibson, the unions sergeant at arms, said he still has some wait when he enters the base during those hours, but it has gotten much better. He estimated the wait time has been reduced by 15 to 20 minutes. The reopening of the Martin Luther King Jr. gate, he said, should make even more difference.
Thats when we are going to see the real improvement, he said.
While the Martin Luther King Jr. gate has been closed for resurfacing, one lane at the gate designated for commercial traffic has been open for regular traffic. That lane will close come Monday.
The change at the Russell Parkway gate was considered a test. Ross said although it has worked, its too soon to say whether it will be permanent.