New Barksdale gate will impact traffic, the economy and base security
Trains no longer will be an issue when accessing the installation from this vantage point
BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) — State officials recently celebrated completion of the Barksdale Air Force Base interchange at Interstate 20 at Interstate 220 in Bossier Parish.
The $80 million-plus project will include a road from that intersection south to the base and a new east gate and related structures that are expected to be completed by December 2025.
“So really this has been a huge partnership between Barksdale Air Force Base, the City of Bossier, the Parish of Bossier, Shreveport and the state,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Callaway, commander of the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron.
“And when we talk about the community coming together, I’m not just talking about there’s a civilian community and a military community. It is the entire area here in northwest Louisiana and the entire state of Louisiana that helped make this happen.”
- I-20 services about 44,600 vehicles a day in the vicinity of the I-220 interchange.
- I-220 near the interchange services about 21,900 vehicles a day.
- The project takes into account a projected increase in traffic count of at least 50% percent with completion of the interchange and entrance gate.
The purpose of the new gate is to decrease traffic congestion, impact the economy and increase security measures as the Shreveport/Bossier population continues to grow.
“So when we think about the gates we have right now, you know if something goes wrong at a gate or we have to close something down, traffic backs up and it affects everyone in Shreveport and Bossier,” Callaway explained.
“It brings people to work on base and people who bring deliveries to base right off the interstate right onto base much faster. So we’ll have three lanes for personally operated vehicles to go to and two inspection lanes, which increases our capacity.”
How will the gate impact the economy?
“When we start talking about economic impact, we’re talking about people not blocking roads or not getting in the way of other roads as people are trying to get on base,” Callaway said.
“So now we can have trains flowing when they need to flow, bringing materials and goods to Shreveport and taking them from Shreveport. And Bossier feeds into that train systems as well. So we’re not impacting the train system anymore.”
As far as increased security measures, Callaway said they will be able to regulate speed and do the things they have continued to do since 9/11 to protect the integrity of the base.
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