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A gate, flooding: There will be a discussion in this meeting about how changes at Langley will affect Hampton residents

An aerial photograph of Langley Air Force Base and the Hampton Roads area during Airpower Over Hampton Roads Airshow at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, May 20, 2018. (WYDaily/U.S. Air Force photo courtesy Senior Airman Anthony Nin Leclerec)
An aerial photograph of Langley Air Force Base and the Hampton Roads area during Airpower Over Hampton Roads Airshow at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, May 20, 2018. (WYDaily/U.S. Air Force photo courtesy Senior Airman Anthony Nin Leclerec)

Hampton city officials in collaboration with Joint Base Langley-Eustis are inviting the public to listen and provide any recommendations or input regarding possibly relocating the base’s West gate.

The gate is currently located on North Armistead Avenue.

Staff from the base, Hampton officials, NASA Langley Research Center and other key stakeholders are answering questions at the Wednesday meeting where residents can hear how the agencies have been working together to consider the options for the gate’s move.

“When we do a project of this nature, we want to inform the public and allow them to hear an overview of the scope of work just so they know what’s underway,” said Bruce Sturk, the city’s director of federal facilities support.

Sturk said the reason for the possible move primarily stems from the safety hazard caused by the traffic pattern that allows vehicles to flow and become congested inside the base flight line’s “clear zone” — where it’s most probable for an aircraft accident to occur during landing or takeoff.

“Generally speaking, you don’t want to have any type of facility, or a road, or buildings in a clear zone,” he said.

Sturk also said the city has been buying parcels around the flight line to mitigate “encroachment challenges” in the clear zone.

Joint Base Langley-Eustis has three more gates at LaSalle Avenue, King Street, and Durand Street where its more than 100,000 workers, retirees, and military family members could continue to access the base should the gate on Armistead Avenue close.

A study is expected to be completed by December 2020 when Sturk said officials will have a better sense of the available options and can hold more informational sessions with the public.

“Once those options are on the table there’ll be a lot more discussions on how to proceed and what the right methodology and options to consider for the workforce that uses the gate and the public that might be impacted,” he said.

Other items that affect Joint Base Langley-Eustis requirements like recurring flooding and possible road closures are also being discussed Nov. 6 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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