HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Visitors to Redstone Arsenal will notice a new monument near the installation's main gate. It's to recognize the Poarch Band of Creek Indians for their help relocating Gate 9.
Anyone who comes to the Redstone Arsenal Gate 9 Visitors Center will pass by this new monument paying tribute The Poarch Band of Creek Indians. A ceremony was held on Tuesday, sponsored by Science and Engineering Services (SES) and Redstone Gateway. The statue was uncovered and received with applause by the crowd.
In January 2016, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians donated $1 million to the Federal Building Authority to help relocate Gate 9, the main access point. It was moved three quarters of a mile in an effort to alleviate traffic jams.
"This is work that shows unity of organizations coming together to make a safer infrastructure for Huntsville, expanding the road from a two lane to four lane for efficiency and safety for employees who travel this road daily," said Stephanie Bryan, Tribal Chair & CEO.
Nearly half of all traffic that comes onto the arsenal enters through Gate 9, more than 20,000 cars each day. Officials say the improvements were necessary and made a difference.
"Today, we are going to express our appreciation to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians as well as the community for allowing us to move Gate 9 back. It has reduced traffic congestion. It has improved travel on I-565 and most of all, it has improved the workforce's access to the installation and for that, we're very appreciative," said Colonel Kelsey Smith, Redstone Arsenal Garrison Commander.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians are growing their footprint in Huntsville.
“Therefore, we felt it was important to participate and donate to this project because we have PCI Aviation here, Media Fusion, PCI Support Services, as well as the TownePlace Suites and a new hotel downtown, the AC Hotel, so we are expanding and diversifying,” Bryan stated.