It’s been almost two years since ground was broken for construction on West 18th Avenue in 2015, but it’s still a few weeks away from completion — missing its November deadline.
The $10.5 million project, which will provide pipes for chilled water to be delivered in a more environmentally friendly way across campus, has been delayed until sometime in December.
Since May of 2015, 18th Avenue, between Magruder and College roads, has been closed to vehicular traffic. For pedestrians, walkways have been provided on the sides of the roadway and two bridges allow them to cross the construction in certain sections.
Nicole Holman, a spokeswoman for Ohio State’s Office of Administration and Planning, did not comment on the reasons for the delay of the project, but said it would be done soon.
“18th Avenue, between College Road and Magruder Road, is anticipated to open to pedestrian and limited service vehicle traffic in early December,” Holman said.
Holman added that the installation of the curbs and asphalt on 18th Avenue is nearing completion, but other site amenities, such as benches and lighting, might take a little longer.
“Depending on the weather conditions, the majority of the final landscaping is still anticipated to be installed by the end of the year.” Holman said.
Nevertheless, OSU students, faculty and staff continue to be affected by the ongoing construction.
Andres Serrano, a third-year in mechanical engineering, has most of his classes in and around 18th Avenue. This semester, especially, construction has hindered Serrano’s daily commute, he said.
“My biggest gripe with the construction is that I don’t have a fast and easy connection between the two buildings I spend the most time at, Scott Lab and the (18th Avenue Library),” Serrano said.
Serrano, while not surprised to hear of the project’s delay, is still hopeful that 18th Avenue will be clear for pedestrians in time for his exams.
Other students, however, don’t share his optimism.
“I can’t remember the last time 18th Avenue wasn’t under construction,” said Christian Frey, a fourth-year in communication.
Like Serrano, much of Frey’s daily commute is disrupted by the 18th Avenue construction.
“I used to be able to access my classes with some ease during construction,” Frey said. “But now, with Newman Lab being closed off, I’ve had to completely rethink my daily commute.”
The good news for Frey, and many students like him, is that construction is almost complete.
“I’m just looking forward to the day when I can seamlessly walk through campus again,” Frey said. “It’s been a long couple of semesters.”