No more excuses: New crosswalks make going to the gym safer, easier at Ft. Bragg

USACE, Savannah District
Published Jan. 23, 2020

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Playing dodge ball at the gym on Fort Bragg sounds like fun. Playing “dodge car” to get to the gym doesn’t. Health enthusiasts can concentrate on the sport and less on the traffic thanks to several new crosswalks recently completed by the Savannah District.

A dozen new, lighted and solar-powered crosswalks with flashing warning lights now warn drivers that pedestrians are waiting to cross busy streets on the Army’s most populous installation, according to Capt. Marguerite E. “Meg” Vermillion, the project engineer and contracting representative heading up the construction effort.

“The solar-powered crosswalks replaced signs without warning lights that were deemed to be ineffective in these high traffic areas,” she said. “They will help us save lives.”

Barnhill Contracting Company of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, installed eight of the crosswalks along Gruber Road, a heavy traffic street separating multiple barracks, company and battalion areas from motor pools and other soldier work areas. Hundreds, if not a thousand or more able-bodied troops cross in the area daily, according to Vermillion. The flashing warning lights, activated by pedestrians seeking to cross, will provide more safety and warn drivers to yield to those on foot.

Vermillion and her team, including Fort Bragg’s Department of Public Works to determine the most critical points where the crosswalks would provide the most benefit to the most people.

“We worked closely with DPW to fill in the gaps and improve areas with the potential risk to pedestrians,” said 1st Lt. Neal Eichenberg, a project engineer intern on the construction. The greatest benefit comes by giving lighted warnings to early morning motorists – the time when the most troops leave their living areas and cross Gruber Road for physical training, usually before dawn.

In addition to the eight on Gruber Road, the team installed four others in areas frequented by civilian workers as well as soldiers, on Randolph, Normandy and Woodruff streets. Since these crosswalks also service family members and people with special needs, they include additional features to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. These include tactile material on the curb ramps and audio signals “which provide a locate tone and visual confirmation in order to comply with ADA standards,” Vermillion said.

“These crosswalks were installed at user request on Randolph to make crossing safer from housing to the parade field which also serves as a fitness park,” she said. “A crosswalk was installed on Normandy to help civilians and soldiers cross safely in front of the Soldier Support Center.”

“In addition, a crosswalk was installed on Woodruff to help civilians and soldiers safely cross from offices to a gym,” she noted. Now workers can’t blame the traffic for causing them to miss a workout.

Work on the crosswalks began in early September 2019. Fort Bragg’s traffic control inspector, Michael “Bo” Seegars, passed all the crosswalks on Jan. 16. The crosswalks cost $360,650 which includes site work, concrete and the signs. Batteries that recharge during the day will provide power to the LED-equipped signs.

“They are up and running,” Vermillion said. Now folks just need to get to the gym and get running.

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Photos associated with news release can be found at:

Caption (All photos): Capt. Marguerite E. “Meg” Vermillion conducts a final status check on 12 new, lighted and solar-powered crosswalks on Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) are visible from both sides of the road and both directions of traffic. They will provide much-needed protection to pedestrians crossing some of the busiest streets on the Army’s most populous installation. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo)

Billy Birdwell, Senior Public Affairs Specialist
912-652-6039 (cell)

Release no. 20-002