In preparation for the construction of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons (CULC), two of Tech’s major roads will be closed in the near future: Fourth Street and Atlantic Drive. Although currently there is no definitive date for the roads’ closing, construction is expected to begin in mid December and continue until June 2009.
The closure will affect the portion of Fourth Street from Fowler Street to Atlantic Drive, and will then continue down Atlantic Drive to Ferst Drive. Due to its location on Fourth Street, Research Drive, which is the loop behind the library, will also be inaccessible. During construction, these roads will be closed to all non-support vehicles. Neither pedestrian traffic nor the Stinger routes will be affected.
“This kind of turmoil is inevitable but we try to mitigate it as much as possible,” said Alfred Dolder, senior capital project manager. Dolder stated that the primary effect of the road closures would be to disrupt deliveries to the buildings on the streets.
“To some degree Atlantic Drive and Fourth Street are used for deliveries. That’s going to come to a gentle halt,” Dolder said.
Delivery issues will be mitigated by increased use of State Street and old Plum Street, the road that formerly ran between the College of Computing and the Klaus Building.
Although the prospect of delivery trucks driving through a well-traveled pedestrian area raises safety concerns, Dolder said that it would not be an issue. “It doesn’t hurt to err on the side of caution,” he said. “Pedestrian use should be unimpeded. It’s one of the principal routes in Tech.”
Parking in the area, particularly on Fourth Street, will also be affected by the construction. “A lot of the permits will have to be reassigned, most likely to the Student Center parking deck,” said David Santa Ana, associate director of Parking and Transportation. “This is the only option that has the sufficient capacity to accept this many vehicles.”
Santa Ana stated that although there were plans to reassign Fourth Street parking during the road closures, it was still too early to determine what the parking situation would be at the completion of the CULC construction. “We’re getting close; hopefully we’ll get something more definite by the first of the year,” Santa Ana said.
“There is still a design to have some parking associated with the project. There is still some work to establish the plausibility of this,” Santa Ana said on the prospect of parking located at the CULC.
Remotely controlled gates will be installed at the entrances to these roads in the coming weeks; however, they will not be activated until the project begins in mid December.