Feb 072012
Authors: Sabrina Norwood

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 Arthur’s ditch, creating more than 140 new parking spaces, and eliminating bike/pedestrian congestion.

“There 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,” said Associated Students of CSU President Eric Berlinberg in an email to the Collegian. “The re-design of the lot will eliminate these conflicting traffic patterns.”

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 ‘beginning’ of the lot to be farther west toward Hartshorn.

“Reorienting the parking to be east/west will aid with sun angles on vehicles, as well as help eliminate a lot of the ‘cut through’ by bike traffic that currently exists,” Berlinberg added.

While the work on Arthur’s ditch has already begun, the actual renovations to the parking lots will not begin until well after classes have ended on May 15.

“The project has started with the work on Arthur’s ditch,” said Facilities Project Manager Tracey Abel. “But 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.”

The main focus of the lot renovations is to make the parking situation easier for students and faculty on campus.

“My biggest complaint [about the Morgan parking lot] is the lack of space,” said sophomore liberal arts major Craig Buchanan. “A renovation sounds like a great idea, it should be made easier and more accessible for students.”

Along with the remodeling and removal of Arthur’s ditch, the bridge across University Avenue will also be replaced.

“The bridge project will probably begin work in late February, early March,” Abel said. “Students can anticipate to be able to use University Avenue during this time, although there might be a slight detour.”

A big concern is what will happen to all the trees being removed from Arthur’s ditch.

Abel said that many of the trees in the ditch area currently have been damaged due to years of storms.

“There will also be an addition of a significant amount of trees and shrubbery in the lot to make it feel less of a ‘black-top,’ and more of a garden-feel,” Berlinberg said.

An essential aspect of the renovation is to help with traffic flow.

“ASCSU lobbied to include a formal ‘drop off circle’ (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,” Berlingberg said. “This 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.”

Collegian writer Sabrina Norwood can be reached at news@collegian.com

 Posted by at 3:20 pm

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