| 03.20.2018

Construction season


Sitting outside of Starbucks, it is easy to see that summer made its way to campus —  bulldozers, jackhammers and hard hats included. 

111Construction_RomansWork began May 19 on the $150,000 to $250,000 Parking and Transportation Services traffic-calming project on Deakin Avenue.

The goal of the project is to increase pedestrian safety, said Shawna Bertlin, parking information specialist for PTS.

“The focus for pedestrian safety is not solely on modifying pedestrian behavior as much as it is raising awareness of motorists that they are entering a pedestrian area,” Bertlin said.

Bertlin said the finished project will feature narrower roads, new signs and raised speed tables to slow down drivers and increase safety. A similar project will take place on 6th street to increase pedestrian safety and driver awareness, but construction there will not begin until summer 2015 due to other priority projects on campus.

There will also be a number of installments aimed at increasing the beauty of the streets such as planted medians at the Deakin location.

Deakin Construction Concept

“The intent is to enhance the area much like Friendship Square,” Bertlin said.

Carl Root, director of PTS said the traffic calming project on Deakin Avenue in front of the SUB and the VandalStore has three functions.

“The nice thing about this project is that it will not only make pedestrian safety better, but add a real enhancement to the area,” Root said. “A third function is that it connects the two buildings better. This will increase the human interaction between the two.

Construction crews use heavy machinery on the roads outside the SUB during phase one of the Parking and Transportation Services’ Transportation Plan. This project involves implementing a traffic calming plan at the Deakin Ave. speed table.

The Deakin Avenue construction is expected to be finished by August 15. Until then, detour routes have been set up around College Avenue and 6th Street.

Other construction projects scheduled to begin over the summer include the renovation project of the Education building, the construction of the new Integrated Research Innovation Center, and the demolition of the Kiva Theater.

Project manager Guy Esser said the abatement process of the College of Education should start in mid-August. The Kiva demolition, part of the renovation project, will begin late-summer or early fall, Esser said.

Construction of the new research building, IRIC, is expected to begin later this summer in July.

Claire Whitley can be reached at argonaut@uidaho.edu

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