April 13, 2011

Road Construction Delays Commutes

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The reconstruction of University Avenue will result in further delays for pedestrian traffic at the Fall Creek Suspension Bridge, which connects students who live on North Campus to Central Campus.

The stairway that connects the suspension bridge to campus will close Thursday morning, the University announced in a statement Tuesday. Signs posted at the bridge will direct pedestrians to use the Thurston Avenue Bridge or the suspension bridge and gorge trail, the statement added. Students who wish to continue using the suspension bridge to get to class will be directed along a trail that runs along the south side of the gorge before linking with University Avenue near the Chi Psi fraternity.

Claudia Wheatley, interim deputy university spokesperson, said that the delays starting Thursday “shouldn’t be too bad.”

Pedestrians traveling from North Campus will be able to either cross the suspension bridge and head west past the Chi Psi and Theta Delta Chi fraternities or toward Forest Home Drive to avoid the construction after crossing the bridge, she said.The stairway will be closed “until work on University Avenue is substantially complete,” according to the press release. University Avenue will be fully operational by the fall to “coincide with the completion of the Johnson Art Museum and Milstein Hall projects for the Fall 2011 semester,” She added that students were informed of the decision through the University’s Special Conditions Notification System Tuesday and that the details of the delays are available on the University’s Information Page.This is the latest of several delays that students traveling to and from North Campus have experienced since the University Avenue reconstruction project commenced on March 21.Last week, the suspension bridge was blocked off to pedestrians for several days.On May 9, 11 days before the end of final exams, construction crews will officially close the Fall Creek Suspension Bridge, redirecting all foot traffic to the Thurston Avenue Bridge, according to a press release issued March 15 concerning the University Avenue construction project.Students who normally use the suspension bridge expressed frustration and annoyance. “I found out about the closing from a friend, not the University. I think they need to be clearer about what’s going on and do a better job notifying students,” Kyle Ward ’13 said. “These delays are just plain annoying for the people that use the bridge every day.”

Original Author: Will Ryan