By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Motorists can expect more traffic delays around Tinker Air Force Base.
Officials last week announced plans to close the Tinker Gate for upgrades. The main gate off Air Depot Blvd. will be closed beginning Jan. 28 at 9:30 p.m. and is not expected to reopen until January 2022.
To accommodate traffic, Tinker will reopen the Eaker Gate for 24/7 access at the same time. The gate is located near I-40 and Town Center Dr.
Drivers can also use the Vance Gate, located near Sooner Rd. just south of SE 29th St., and Hruskocy Gate, located at north Industrial Blvd. and SE 29th St. The Vance Gate will be open 5:30 – 9 a.m. and 3- 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Hruskocy Gate will be open 5:30 – 9 a.m. and 1:30 – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Gott and Lancer gates also provide 24/7 access to the base.
The Pass and ID Office, located north of the Tinker Gate, will continue to operate with regular hours.
The closure is part of an ongoing $9.7 million renovation project to bring Tinker AFB’s gates into compliance with DOD facility requirements, officials said.
“We understand that this closure will cause inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to improve our base,” Tinker officials posted on Facebook.
Midwest City officials say they will adjust traffic controls near the base to improve flow near Air Depot Blvd., SE 29th St. and Town Center Plaza.
“It will be a nuisance for traffic coming in and out of the base for a while, hopefully it does not cause many backups on SE 29th St. and I-40,” said Patrick Menefee, city engineer. “Hopefully the base is prepared to efficiently and quickly get people through the gates.”
The Tinker Gate is located about 500 feet south of the I-40 bridge over Air Depot Blvd., which allows more space for drivers to wait as they enter the base. The Eaker Gate is about 200 feet from the interstate.
Ongoing construction has also closed the Liberator and Piazza gates. The Piazza Gate is expected to reopen in June and the Liberator Gate is scheduled to reopen in December.