Parris Island cuts the ribbon to new main gate

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Photo above: The new hi-tech Parris Island Marine Corps Depot main gate is designed to keep traffic flowing while adding layers of “force protection” for the MP’s guarding it.

By Bob Sofaly

Anybody who travels on Parris Island Gateway on their way to work knows how badly traffic can be backed up on Thursday and Friday for Recruit graduation at Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

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Cutting the ribbon to officially open the new Main Gate at Parris Island Recruit Depot are from left, Jeff Achten, Final Net Solutions; Col. Jeffrey Fultz, Chief of Staff; Depot Sgt. Maj. Angela Maness and Brig. Gen. Terry V. Williams, commanding general of Paris Island Recruit Depot.

All of that changed on Tuesday, December 8th after the ribbon cutting ceremony official opened the new, hi- tech main gate.

“There are three entry lanes into the gate”, according to Parris Island architect David Woodward. There is also a separate lane for inspections of all commercial vehicles as well as pre-selected cars coming aboard the depot.”

Protecting the military policemen and civilian security is bullet proof glass all around three stations. Surrounding those stations are steel reinforced concrete bollards and reinforced brickwork should a car try and break through.

Keith Henderson, Parris Island’s Anti-Terrorism Force Protection Project Manager said there is also “final barrier” which will act much like an arresting cable to catch landing aircraft. “It will pop up and catch an out of control car and ease it to a complete stop instead of crushing it like a solid barrier would”, he said.

There is also a turn- around lane for those who get caught up in traffic or are simply lost.

Some interesting facts about the new gate are:

  • Three processing entry lanes, one gate house, three sentry buildings and one support building housed under a 10,000 square foot canopy
  • Approximately 60,000 man-hours have been devoted to this project
  • 83,000 cubic yards of dirt were brought to build the new road/traffic circle. That translates into 6,000 truck-loads of dirt.
  • 19,000 cubic yards of asphalt
  • 3,000 feet of cable barrier
  • 200,000 pounds of structural steel