Smith Speaks at Groundbreaking at Earle Weapons Station
New Gate will improve security at Naval facility
Congressman Chris Smith attended the groundbreaking of a new security gate yesterday at Naval Weapons Station Earle. Smith (NJ-04, Robbinsville) helped secure funding for the gate.Congressman Chris Smith attended the groundbreaking of a new security gate yesterday at Naval Weapons Station Earle. Smith (NJ-04, Robbinsville) helped secure funding for the gate.
“These upgrades will provide better anti-terrorism and force protection for the base, the personnel and the community,” Smith said.
Construction will include gate access realignment, reinforced fencing along the highway; new security fencing surrounding guardhouse area and removal of existing guardhouse and parking areas. Work also will include site lighting, raised medians, a vehicle inspection shelter, barriers, sidewalks and parking spaces.
Currently, the main gate at Earle uses portable barriers to direct traffic into a vehicle inspection area and slow down incoming traffic. A lack of adequate space hampers the efficient flow of traffic. Vehicles entering the base back up onto Route 34 causing major safety concerns. The $6.27 million project is expected to be completed by October 2011.
In April, Smith announced the U.S. Navy planned to suspend its 2009 record of decision (ROD) which would have opened military housing inside Naval Weapons Station Earle to civilians who would not be checked or vetted for security risks. The decision was expected to clear the way for a settlement and enable the Navy to reach a mutually acceptable agreement for the federal government, local communities and the private developer which currently owns and runs the Earle Laurelwood housing complex.
Other officials also opposed the housing plan, including the 12th Legislative District’s Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, Sen. Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, and Monmouth County Freeholder Director Lillian Burry of Colts Neck, Colts Neck Mayor Ken Florek. Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera and members of Neighbors Opposed to Privatization at Earle, or NOPE.