JBLM to shut one gate for work on new road linking its two sides

Joint Base Lewis-McChord plans to shut an access point for commercial vehicles next week while it moves forward with a road project that will link two unconnected sides of the military installation.

The new road connecting McChord Air Field to the mostly Army Lewis Main part of the base is expected to open next May, taking some traffic off of Interstate 5.

JBLM is closing the commercial vehicle checkpoint at the intersection of South Gate Road and Perimeter Road while it builds bridges and support pillars for the new road from June 23 to Aug. 23

The base plans to direct commercial vehicles to the McChord Field North Gate at the intersection of South Tacoma Way and 112th Street in Tacoma.

Fort Lewis and McChord Air Field merged in 2010 to make Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Most military operations are still centered on their traditional Army and Air Force halves of the installation, but housing and social services have combined.

As a result, airmen live in what was traditionally the Army side of the base and soldiers live in what used to be Air Force housing. Most services are concentrated in areas that used to be Fort Lewis because there are far more soldiers than airmen stationed at JBLM.

Getting from one side of the base to the other, however, requires driving on Interstate 5.

Opening the connector road next year “is very significant for our folks who live on the installation,” base Commander Col. Charles Hodges said last week at a meeting with South Sound military and local government officials.

For questions about the construction, call JBLM’s public affairs office at 253.967.0152.