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CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (AP) — The commander at Camp Lejeune has turned down a request to allow civilians to resume using a state highway that runs through part of the Marine base.

The Jacksonville Daily News reported that Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Gorry cited security concerns in his refusal to open N.C. 172 to civilians.

The road that is a shortcut across the back of Camp Lejeune was closed to civilian traffic in 2007 as the base tightened security.

The Onslow County Board of Commissioners had asked last month that the road be reopened to limited civilian traffic to provide economic relief from high gas prices for commuters. The board proposed allowing only those with permits to use the road.

Military officials estimate the closure affects 1,400 vehicles daily.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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