Construction is underway on an estimated $1.47 million project that will turn the ditch area between the Morgan Library and the Hartshorn Building to create a more accessible parking area.
The project, which is to be funded by the Parking Services and not by student fees, will merge the two parking lots together, over Arthurâ€™s ditch, creating more than 140 new parking spaces, and eliminating bike/pedestrian congestion.
â€œThere are bicycle/pedestrian/vehicle crossing at the exit of the current Morgan lot, which presents a very dangerous situation during 10-minute passing periods on school days,â€ said Associated Students of CSU President Eric Berlinberg in an email to the Collegian. â€œThe re-design of the lot will eliminate these conflicting traffic patterns.â€
Berlinberg added that the construction will essentially combine the two lots, re-orient the parking to be east-west instead of north-south and change the true â€˜beginningâ€™ of the lot to be farther west toward Hartshorn.
â€œReorienting the parking to be east/west will aid with sun angles on vehicles, as well as help eliminate a lot of the â€˜cut throughâ€™ by bike traffic that currently exists,â€ Berlinberg added.
While the work on Arthurâ€™s ditch has already begun, the actual renovations to the parking lots will not begin until well after classes have ended on May 15.
â€œThe project has started with the work on Arthurâ€™s ditch,â€ said Facilities Project Manager Tracey Abel. â€œBut the lots will still be accessible and open for use until school lets out for summer. The lot will re-open again, finished, before classes start in August.â€
The main focus of the lot renovations is to make the parking situation easier for students and faculty on campus.
â€œMy biggest complaint [about the Morgan parking lot] is the lack of space,â€ said sophomore liberal arts major Craig Buchanan. â€œA renovation sounds like a great idea, it should be made easier and more accessible for students.â€
Along with the remodeling and removal of Arthurâ€™s ditch, the bridge across University Avenue will also be replaced.
â€œThe bridge project will probably begin work in late February, early March,â€ Abel said. â€œStudents can anticipate to be able to use University Avenue during this time, although there might be a slight detour.â€
A big concern is what will happen to all the trees being removed from Arthurâ€™s ditch.
Abel said that many of the trees in the ditch area currently have been damaged due to years of storms.
â€œThere will also be an addition of a significant amount of trees and shrubbery in the lot to make it feel less of a â€˜black-top,â€™ and more of a garden-feel,â€ Berlinberg said.
An essential aspect of the renovation is to help with traffic flow.
â€œASCSU lobbied to include a formal â€˜drop off circleâ€™ (kind of like a kiss-n-go from Elementary School) for vehicles to actually have a loop to pull over and wait, or to drop someone off,â€ Berlingberg said. â€œThis drop off circle will be crucial to tie in the parking with the newly renovated LSC Theater, the soon-to-be LSC renovation, and the nearly completed Morgan Library renovation.â€
Collegian writer Sabrina Norwood can be reached at email@example.com