Ohio State is working to minimize the impact of the North Residential District Transformation, but some OSU students said various road closures and lane reductions are already inconveniencing them.
Though Curl Drive, an access road that leads to several North Campus residence halls, was closed a few weeks ago, an access plan is set to be distributed in coming weeks to establish traffic patterns for students who plan to leave for breaks, OSU Administration and Planning spokeswoman Alison Hinkle said.
“For this year’s Thanksgiving break, winter break and end-of-year move-in/out, we will temporarily allow limited access to the North District via Curl Drive,” Hinkle said in an email. “Specific details and time restrictions will be sent to students living in the area approximately two weeks before the start of each move-out/in time frame.”
Curl Drive, which connects Neil and Woodruff avenues, was closed indefinitely Oct. 11, marking the beginning stages of the North Residential District Transformation.
The North Residential District Transformation is a $370 million renovation to the North Campus District aiming to enhance OSU’s Second-Year Transformational Experience by adding 3,200 additional student beds through the construction of 11 new buildings, which are expected to be ready for move-in Fall 2016.
STEP is an initiative meant to strengthen the second-year OSU experience through faculty mentoring and educational opportunities.
Following the closure of Curl Drive, eastbound Lane Avenue was reduced to one lane between Neil Avenue and Peasley Street Monday and is expected to remain limited to one lane until Summer 2016, Hinkle said.
In addition, southbound High Street between Lane and Woodruff avenues was also reduced to one lane Monday and is expected to remain that way until Summer 2015, Hinkle said.
Hinkle said the lane closures are needed to allow construction traffic in and out of the area in order to maintain safety for pedestrians and vehicles, but she doesn’t expect the transition to be without its issues.
“As with any change to existing patterns, delays are anticipated, especially as drivers adjust to the change,” Hinkle said.
Additionally, the sidewalk on the south side of Lane Avenue between Neil Avenue and Peasley Street was closed Monday, as well as the sidewalk between the east side of Taylor Tower and High Street. The sidewalk on the west side of High Street will be closed between Lane and Woodruff avenues as well, according to the North Residential District construction news website.
The road and sidewalk closures have impacted some students’ commute through the North Campus area.
Brooke Rossi, a three-year in communication and delivery driver for OSU Dining Services’ Pizza and Delivery, more commonly known as PAD, said the closures affect how she delivers pizzas.
“It takes our routes longer to get to the dorms, and also some people, depending on where they are, have to walk farther to get their food,” Rossi said. “It’s kind of inconvenient.”
Stephen Meng, a third-year in exploration, said the closed sidewalk on Lane Avenue has affected his commute to campus from his off-campus residence on Norwich Avenue.
“It’s a pain in the a–,” Meng said. “Before all the blockades went up, I used this sidewalk everyday, just to cut through (to campus).”
Meng said for now, he plans to walk to North High Street to get to campus.
James Tolloti, a second-year in exercise science, said he also uses the recently closed sidewalk on Lane Avenue but said the rerouting isn’t anything new.
“It just adds more detours to the already heavily detoured campus,” Tolloti said.
Seven buildings have been recommended for demolition as part of the North Residential District Transformation. Initial construction activities will include site surveys, relocation of existing utilities and demolition. Hinkle said the first major visible signs of construction will be the demolition of Scott House and Raney Commons in the first half of 2014.
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