Washington Avenue construction expected to cause major delays

Megan Boldt

Although originally slated to start Tuesday, the demolition of three campus buildings will be postponed until later this week. The project will require closing a lane of traffic on Washington Avenue.
Washington Avenue’s eastbound right lane between Church and Union streets southeast is expected to be closed sometime this week. Tim Busse, a spokesman from Facilities Management, could not confirm the exact date or time of the lane closing.
The lane will remain closed until Sept. 4. Despite the late start, project coordinators expect the lane to reopen on time.
University officials say the lane closing will cause considerable traffic congestion in the area.
“People should expect delays at any time,” said Susan Ahn, spokeswoman for the University.
“The worst delays will be during rush hour, particularly in the morning,” she explained.
Workers are using the lane to set up a large crane that will be used in the demolition of Millard Hall, Lyon Labs and Owre Hall.
The three buildings are being removed to make way for the new Molecular and Cellular Biology Building. The project is expected to be completed by winter of 2002.
Project coordinators hope to reopen the road Sept. 4 — the weekend students move into the residence halls. The demolition and construction project is not expected to interfere with area traffic when the fall semester begins on Sept. 7.
“At this point, the lane should not be closed for a longer period than scheduled,” Ahn said. “We will definitely let people know if anything changes.”
In addition to traffic congestion, Ahn said campuswide construction will uproot of many of the academic departments on the East Bank.
“People should confirm the location of departments before visiting them,” said Ahn.
Major parking facilities should not be affected by the project.
If there are any questions regarding this or other construction projects at the University, contact the construction information hotline at (612) 626-7777. The hotline operates 24 hours a day and provides up-to-date information.