Ellsworth traffic changes to increase efficiency during B-21 construction

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Levi Rowse
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Traffic patterns will change Sept. 6, 2022, to enhance resource flow to construction projects supporting the B-21 Raider bed down at Ellsworth.

The Bismarck (commercial) gate will close to inbound personally owned vehicles, but will remain open for large recreational vehicles and personally owned trailers that will not fit through the Liberty (main) and Patriot (school) gates. Outbound traffic, of any kind, will still be allowed through the Bismarck gate during its operating hours.

“Subject matter experts analyzed the significant increase in commercial traffic that will support 36 major B-21 construction projects and developed a plan to minimize the impact to our Raider community” said Lt. Col. Keith O’Halloran, Chief of the 28th Bomb Wing Commander’s Action Group.

Construction over the next several years will enable the 28th BW to receive the first B-21 Raider, a dual-capable penetrating strike stealth bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions, and conduct global operations with the new airframe.

The Bismarck gate will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., while the Patriot gate is open beginning Aug. 22, 2022, from 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Liberty gate is open 24/7.

"The new gate and traffic patterns ensure the increased commercial traffic does not interfere with personal vehicles,” said Maj. Rudolph McIntyre, 28th Security Forces Squadron commander. “Over the next several years, commercial traffic is expected to grow by more than 400 percent in support of new construction projects. Without changes to current traffic patterns, personnel would encounter significant delays at the commercial gate as delivery and construction trucks queue waiting to be searched."

Ellsworth visitors and commuters are encouraged to use the Patriot gate to minimize wait times at the Liberty gate throughout the day, especially during morning traffic hours.

"Infrastructure at Liberty and Patriot gates has the capacity to accept the increased personal vehicle traffic once shifted over from Bismarck gate," McIntyre added.

People with questions about traffic patterns or gate hours of operation can call (605) 385-1000.