March 14, 2003

Livermore and Sandia begin construction for controlling access to East Avenue between Vasco and Greenville


Construction work in preparation for controlling access to East Avenue between Vasco and Greenville roads will begin in the next few weeks.

Closing the stretch of East Avenue between Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national labs to the general public and controlling access is scheduled to begin this summer after the completion of new control point facilities and road improvements.

"At a time of heightened security nationwide, East Avenue security enhancements will provide an additional layer of protection to the already robust security posture at both laboratories," said Don Wentz of LLNL’s Safeguards and Security Program.

A design developed jointly by LLNL and Sandia will create vehicle and pedestrian control entrances at both the Vasco Road and Greenville Road ends of the East Avenue corridor.

The project will consist of widening portions of East Avenue, installing control point kiosks, embedding pop-up barriers in the roadway and building a visitor and turnaround area on the Sandia property at the southwest corner of Vasco Road and East Avenue.

The visitor and turnaround area will consist of a "super kiosk" for badging and permits, visitor parking as well as stops and turnarounds for public and Laboratory buses. A truck inspection station will be built just north of East Avenue near Greenville Road, on Livermore Lab property, to inspect all trucks making deliveries to Sandia and the Lab. The inspection station will be located in what is now the parking area near Bldg. 619.

The East Avenue entrance at Vasco Road will look very similar to the Laboratory’s Westgate Drive entrance, with three inbound vehicle lanes, each with a kiosk for protective force officers. An important security feature at each entrance will be pop-up security barriers capable of stopping trucks or cars attempting to run the checkpoint. Similar barriers are used to protect government facilities and embassies worldwide.

"Visible construction activities will start in the next week with road improvements," said Bill Huddleston, LLNL project manager. "We’ve planned construction activities to minimize disruption to East Avenue traffic. But, over the next three months there may be some delays. We ask that employees pay careful attention to roadway changes and construction signs."

Project bulletins and updates will be published in NewsOnLine and Newsline throughout the construction period.

In concurrence with the National Nuclear Security Administration, the labs have designated the areas along East Avenue as the "East Avenue Corridor Property Protection Area." Access to the corridor will be limited to those with an official LLNL, Sandia, contractor, NNSA and DOE badge or those on an authorized access list.

Discussion of controlling access to East Avenue is not new and dates back to well before Sept. 11, 2001, according to Wentz, who noted that the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and attacks on U.S. facilities in Saudi Arabia and Africa had raised security concerns.

Controlling access to East Avenue became a high priority after the events of September 11. The Lab and Sandia formed a joint project team to start the conceptual and design process.

"This has been a collaborative team effort that will continue to benefit security at both laboratories," said Den Fisher, AD for Safety, Security and Environmental Protection. "There’s also been great cooperation between Alameda County, the City of Livermore and officials from the two labs to make this happen. Controlled access will allow the labs to rapidly respond to changing security threats."

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Laboratory news releases and photos are also available electronically on the World Wide Web of the Internet at URL and on UC Newswire.