Construction is scheduled to begin this month on a new temporary road between Pitkin and Lake streets to help alleviate traffic issues resulting from stadium construction.
The road is expected to be finished by the end of October. The south end of Meridian Avenue, which normally served as a channel to reach the city traveling south of campus, has been closed since the beginning of the semester due to stadium construction.
“We needed to find a way to connect the two roads so we can get people to a traffic way,” said Fred Haberecht of facilities management.
The road will become a real road in two years, when the stadium is complete. It will serve as an access to the south of campus as well as to the parking garage on game days. But due to its current impermanence, Haberecht said that for now, it will likely go by the moniker “Pitkin-Lake connector.”
The will be a one-way south road for vehicles, but it will provide two-way access for bikes, pedestrians and emergency vehicles. Emergency vehicle access is one important factor that Haberecht cited in the construction of the new road that has been somewhat overlooked.
“It’s also important for fire trucks, which adds another layer to this, to have access,” Haberecht said. “This had to happen eventually. We had to be able to offer access in case of a fire, but just not to the extent of a paved road.”
The road will be financed jointly from original funding set aside for the stadium and by Colorado State University.
“There are always things that develop that are unforeseen with a project of this size,” Haberecht said.
He pointed out that this is a “CSU traffic management problem,” which is another reason the school is offering financial support.
Zack Von Stein, a senior majoring in construction management, is optimistic about the benefits the new road will bring. Von Stein, who lives south of campus, noted that “getting to the library takes a lot longer now,” and that having this access again will be “extremely convenient.”
“Unless they are need to build underground facilities under the road, it should be fairly quick and easy project to complete,” Von Stein said.
Brady Demmon, also a construction management senior, agreed: “I think the road itself is a good idea, mostly because it’s mandatory. I still think students be annoyed that they have to stray away their normal routes.” Demmon listed scheduling snafus, material shortages and weather delays all as potential impediments to construction.
Collegian Reporter Luke Scriffiny can be reached at news@collegian or on Twitter @lscriffiny.