Ohio State students will need to continue finding alternate routes to class this semester, as the construction on West 18th Avenue is still a few months from completion.
The project, which began during Spring Semester 2015, has a completion date listed as “fall 2016,” according to a sign on the fencing surrounding the construction. More specifically, construction is scheduled to be completed sometime this November, said Nicole Holman, a spokeswoman for Ohio State’s Office of Administration and Planning.
The ongoing construction spans almost 700 feet, extending between Magruder Avenue and College Road on campus. Since May of last year, that portion of West 18th Avenue has been closed to vehicular traffic. For pedestrians, walkways have been provided on the sides of the roadway, as well as two bridges that allow passage across the construction.
Totaling $10.5 million for the complete installation, the 18th Avenue project aims to extend the utility tunnel from the East Regional Chilled Water Plant to the Celeste Quad.
Holman explained that the construction will help chilled water be delivered in a more environmentally friendly way to nearby buildings.
“Extension of the utility tunnel from the East Regional Chilled Water Plant will provide more reliable and efficient chilled water to the Newman and Wolfrom, Celeste, Evans and McPherson labs,” Holman said.
Nevertheless, students continue to be inconvenienced by the barriers from construction.
“It’s just annoying,” said Alex Schilling, a fourth-year in computer science and engineering. “I had hoped the construction would have finished by now.”
Schilling, who frequently visits the 18th Avenue Library, said that access has been even further restricted this semester, making it difficult to get where he needs to go.
“Almost all of my classes are in and around 18th Avenue, so it’s been a struggle for the past few semesters,” he said.
For the time being, Holman encourages students to be careful regarding their safety in the construction areas.
“Safety is the university’s top priority. We want to remind people that the construction fences are in place for your safety,” she said. “Please be aware of your surroundings, avoid distractions and stop, look and listen when in construction areas around campus.”