The Marine Corps says it will not reopen Highway 172, which runs through Camp Lejeune, to civilian traffic.
Onslow County commissioners had asked the base to allow local residents access to the highway through a permit system. The highway, which runs between Sneads Ferry and Swansboro, was closed to non-military traffic after 9/11.
In a letter to W.C. Jarman, chairman of the county board, Brigadier General T.A. Gorry said reopening the highway would undermine security for the 57,000 Marines, civilian employees and their families who live and work on base.
Gorry cites a 1946 agreement with the state that says the base has the authority to close the public highway "at any time, without prior notice, for any purpose, in providing for military security."
Residents of Sneads Ferry and Swansboro have complained that closing the highway forces some of them to take a considerable detour when going to work.