Fort Stewart is closing a road and taking other traffic measures for the 3,000 soldiers of the Indiana National Guard who are coming to the post next month for final training before deployment to Iraq.An estimated 1,000 other soldiers are already at Fort Stewart preparing for the exercise.Ricker Road will be closed from 10th Street to 16th Street in the National Guard Training Center and the speed limit on two Georgia highways reduced to 45 mph Dec. 28 to March 15 because of the mobilization of the 76th Brigade Combat Team.Travel in and out of the National Guard Training Center will be reduced for safety reasons. Also, increased police presence will be in place around the National Guard Training Center to increase travel safety.The speed limit reduction affects Highway 144 from Glennville to Richmond Hill and Highway 119 from Fort Stewart to Pembroke. The speed limit reduction is within the Fort Stewart training area only.The road closure and the reduction in speed create the safest conditions possible for 76th Brigade Combat Team soldiers and for drivers. The 76th BCT will mobilize on the installation in January to prepare for future Deployment. Drivers using highways 144 and 119 need to be acutely aware of the speed limit reduction and also increased traffic because of the mobilization. Drivers should give themselves more time to arrive at their destinations and are also encouraged to use alternate routes until the mobilization is completed. Tactical vehicles are required to maintain a 40 mph speed limit, so drivers should be prepared to adjust their speed accordingly. All speed limit signs will be changed to read 45 mph. Additional signs will be posted along the highways alerting drivers to the mobilization.Drivers should be alert for military vehicles crossing the highways at tank trails throughout the training areas. Drivers should also watch for flashing amber lights on the road where vehicles may be crossing or stopped in the road waiting to cross and for mud and other debris on the highway.
Extra caution should be taken during darkness when fog is present or other limited visibility situations.