Phase one of stadium construction on schedule

Maisha Downey

Dump trucks and yellow construction jackets might soon litter the streets of campus.

Construction crews are in the first phase of work on TCF Bank Stadium, which will be built where the Huron Boulevard Parking Complex is now.

But University project coordinator Brian Swanson said the work will not affect students’ parking situation.

The football stadium construction will involve three phases. Phase one is broken into seven separate projects, Swanson said.

The Wildcat and Block 12 parking lots, are finished.

Other projects include constructing a road between 23rd and 25th avenues southeast, a new lot east of the Wildcat lot, reconstruction of lot C77 (between Huron Boulevard and 23rd Avenue) and widening and realigning of 23rd Avenue and Sixth Street.

In total, 3,203 parking stalls are scheduled to be built during the three phases of construction, according to Hines construction officials, who are handling the project.

Strategic communications senior Matt Nyquist said he would appreciate the additional parking.

“I don’t know much about the construction, but any parking (the University) put up I’d be in favor of,” he said.

Swanson said the crews have no other parking lot work planned until next summer. Until then, roads around University Avenue Southeast are being revamped.

Arby’s general manager Jack LaBrasseur said he welcomed the new parking, but doesn’t think it’s sufficient.

“I’ve considered selling off the back two-thirds of my lot (on game days) because I don’t think the University will have enough spaces,” he said.

LaBrasseur said he has had meetings with the Arby’s regional manager about remodeling the restaurant to accommodate sports fans.

The front of the restaurant, facing Washington Avenue Southeast, would be expanded to the sidewalk to create seating for 20 additional customers, he said.

Construction foreman Ben Schmidt said some projects are behind while others are ahead.

“It all depends on materials needed and those on hand,” he said.

All seven of the phase one projects will be completed by the November deadline, Swanson said.

Phase two projects will include street work on Huron Boulevard, University Avenue and Oak Street. These roads will remain open but some lanes will close temporarily.