January 29, 2010

Sidewalk repair work to end next week

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Construction on campus pathways will be completed February 8, ending weeks of rerouted traffic on sidewalks across campus. The work is intended to increase accessibility.

Most of the work will end Sunday, but some projects, like Cobb Gate, will take until next month, University spokesman Jeremy Manier said. None of the projects are off schedule.

First-year Alan McCormick noticed sidewalk accessibility problems while touring campus in August. “It was extremely difficult for my brother to get around using his wheelchair,” he said. “When he comes again, [the new paths] will greatly improve how he gets around campus.”

While the goal of the construction is to improve accessibility, the work has raised safety concerns among students. Some projects have closed entire sidewalks, like the west side of the 5700 block of Woodlawn Avenue, forcing students into the street and into traffic. Recent construction on Cobb Gate has impeded pedestrians crossing University Avenue, which first-year Emilie Lohman said can be confusing.

“It’s really hard to cross the street because you can’t see the other side of the pedestrian walkway,” she said.

Noise complaints have also stemmed from the ongoing construction on campus. First-year Snell-Hitchcock resident Heidi Siegrist said she could hear the work from her room. “The noise is pretty distracting,” she said, adding that Saturday morning construction has been especially frustrating for students living in Snell-Hitchcock.