Cornellians returning to their Collegetown homes over the past week were surprised to find the central artery of the neighborhood covered in debris and dust, scattered with holes stretching underground: College Avenue is closed.
The College Avenue Sewer Replacement Project, which broke ground on Aug. 7, is expected to be completed by Oct. 31. During this time, sections of College Ave will be closed in three separate phases, moving up the block towards Collegetown Bagels, to accommodate water main and sewer system improvements.
Large holes currently criss-cross the pavement on the road, through which workers are accessing water main and sewer systems.
“There’s a giant hole outside our house. It’s kind of annoying,” Byron Sleight ’21 told The Sun Tuesday while walking to campus.
Beyond posing an eyesore to nearby residents, Periodically, water will come up from sewer grates in the construction zone, giving rise to a foul smell on the southern end of the street.
Throughout the day, the road is often completely closed to traffic, while during the evenings, when work is halted, it can be passable through a narrow stretch of road lined with turned up gravel.
“It’s made parking, which is already very difficult, even more difficult,” Victoria Fibig ’20, who has a car and lives on College Avenue, told The Sun. The air around College Avenue is also often filled with dust, something Fibig felt warranted “a bit of concern.”
The construction — which comes as thousands of students are returning to campus — has frustrated many of those struggling to move back in.
“The timing is really bad, especially with move-in being right now,” Alyssa Picariello ’20 told The Sun while waiting for her Uber outside GreenStar on Tuesday. “It’s been really hard for the cars to get close enough to the buildings,” Picariello added.
TCAT service through College Avenue has also been disrupted. Routes 10, 32, 51 and 72 will no longer serve Collegetown, while Route 30 and 70 bus stops South of Dryden Road have been relocated to the end of College Avenue at Mitchell Street. The popular stop outside Collegetown Crossing has been shuttered entirely.