Arsenal Traffic: Officials Outline Difficult Path Forward

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Another day, another traffic jam.

Problems persist at Arsenal gates, with no real end in sight.

When we visited Huntsville’s city hall on Monday, the mayor ran through the suggestions he’s made.

Battle told us, “We’ve offered to put additional officers out there, to work with them.  We’ve thrown out the idea of safety patrol people working the gates and everything else, but there’s some legal ramifications that the attorneys at the Arsenal have as to who can actually man those gates and who can’t.”

One huge traffic back-up later, we sought the Arsenal’s answer.

Arsenal Spokesperson Christopher Colster notes, “There’s federal laws in place.  There are Army regulations in place that prohibit us from using outside sources.  It’s our installation.  It’s a federal installation, and federal employees secure it.  Our guards are highly trained and specialized in what they do.  They do a lot more than just flip over your ID card every morning.  They’re trained to react to different scenarios, and they keep a lot of badness out of the Arsenal before it becomes a problem for us inside.”

Colster tells us they didn’t just choose to gut their guard force.  They acted on a mandate to reduce the force by 40% by FY15.

He says they’re only halfway through the process.

Still they do hope to make headway with the traffic.

Colster says, “To get us through this tough period right now is going to require more guards, no doubt about it.  But in the long-term, we’re looking at technology.  Some solutions that might allow us to reduce the guard numbers and still have the same amount of security.”

So know they recognize the problem here.

“I don’t think anybody really understood the enormity of the backup that it was going to cause,” says Colster, “We’re causing safety issues in Huntsville, Madison, almost all the way to Tennessee.  It’s not acceptable, so we’re looking at every solution and trying to get that fixed.”

Until then, we’ll just have to wait it out.

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