New Parris Island gate a sign of a good neighbor

New security gate will help the Marine Corps recruit depot, as well as the general public.

newsroom@islandpacket.comJuly 8, 2014 

Help is on the way to resolve traffic congestion outside the gate to U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

Just as new security techniques caused traffic back-ups in the vicinity, the Marine Corps has put in motion a construction plan that should permanently resolve the problem. For that, we are grateful.

A new main gate to the recruit training depot will be built, moving the security check point far from the Parris Island Gateway thoroughfare. That should keep traffic from backing up on the busy street.

A $9.5 million gate will be built on Horse Island near the traffic circle, across the Gen. E.A. Pollock Memorial Causeway from today's security gate. That offers plenty of room for traffic to back up if need be without interfering with the main thoroughfare through Port Royal.

The new gate will have three inbound lanes and one outbound lane, which should be able to handle the large crowds that arrive Thursday and Friday mornings for Family Day and graduation ceremonies.

New hand-held scanners used by Parris Island security had temporarily caused traffic to back up at times a mile from the depot. And even though the major issue subsided as personnel got more acquainted with the new scanners, the announcement about the new gate comes as good news.

We are pleased that the public is welcome on Parris Island, and we urge the public to do whatever is required to maintain that generous access.

Parris Island is a world famous boot camp nearing its 100th year of "making Marines." It is sometimes called the face of the Marine Corps.

But to civilians, and particularly the people of Beaufort County, the base is much more. It is a treasured piece of the American fabric that should be visited by the public.

The graduation ceremonies bring families from every hamlet east of the Mississippi River to the Lowcountry to view with pride and amazement the precision of new Marines stepping to patriotic music across the Peatross Parade Deck.

Statues throughout the depot tell many stories, including salutes to Iwo Jima, female Marines, drill instructors, Purple Heart recipients, World War I veterans and more.

Its museum tells the story of the long association of the Marine Corps and Navy on the island, as well as its link to the earliest settlements in North America. Monuments mark the spots of those French and Spanish settlements.

A golf course is among the other attractions on the depot that the public can enjoy.

We see the recruit depot as a good neighbor in numerous ways. Construction of the new security gate is the latest sign that the Marine Corps appreciates that relationship.

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