05/11/07 — Going to the show Saturday?

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Going to the show Saturday?

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 11, 2007 1:46 PM

With large crowds expected to swarm Seymour Johnson Air Force Saturday for the Wings Over Wayne air show, Goldsboro and Wayne County officials have put plans in place to reduce traffic woes along Berkeley Boulevard.

Goldsboro police Capt. Al King estimates thousands of cars will make their through the city this weekend.

"I think traffic will filter in during the course of the day," he said. "We're looking at a big number of spectators this year -- anywhere between 100,000 and 125,000 people."

Gates will open to the public at 9 a.m., but King said he doesn't anticipate major delays that early in the day.

"We expect an influx between noon and 2 p.m.," he said. "That's probably going to be our busiest time before the end of the show."

The end of the show will result in the most significant delays and inconveniences, he added.

"The air show is technically over at 4 p.m. -- that's when the mad rush is going to be out," King said. "People need to understand that the east end of Goldsboro isn't going to be the place to be at that time."

More than 50 off-duty officers will be working Berkeley from 6:30 a.m. until about 7 in the evening, he added -- helping to reduce woes by manning intersections and keeping cars moving safely toward and away from the base gate.

"The only thing different from last year is that last year we were dealing with a Sunday," King said. "Now, we're talking about a Saturday and more of these businesses are going to be open. People just need to keep in mind that it's going to be congested."

Once the show ends, all the traffic lights along Berkeley will be on caution, blinking yellow. But King said with a little patience, travelers will be able to get back home without significant delays -- just like they did last year.

"Last year we cleared 65,000 in an hour," he said. "That was pretty good."

And with the help of the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Highway Patrol, King said things should move smoothly -- albeit slowly -- on Saturday afternoon.