By Kate Giolas, Facilities Communication Intern
This weekend, construction will begin on the North Campus Connecting Element. There have been intermittent lane closures on 100 South and North Campus Drive as crews prepare for the walkway installation. This project includes the installation of an elevated pedestrian walkway, connecting main campus to the Rio Tinto Kennecott Mechanical Engineering Building, as well as the relocation of the current bus stop on North Campus Drive.
The area is already being prepped for the placement of the walkway. Throughout May, there will be intermittent lane closures with a street closure scheduled for late in the evening on Saturday, May 16. The walkway will open in late August.
This raised walkway will solve many pedestrian issues in the area. The high-traffic area has two crosswalks that are currently the only way to conveniently access the mechanical engineering building. The new conduit will provide access to this area without interrupting the flow of traffic, as well as increasing safety to both pedestrians and drivers. This will reduce the number of crossings at the existing diagonal crosswalk located at the intersection of 100 South and North Campus Drive, as well as completely eliminating the crosswalk at Federal Way.
The walkway will be accessible to people with disabilities. Ramped pathways will lead to the connecting element from campus and exit to an enclosed elevator and stair tower attached to the Kennecott Building, which will be open at all times.
Included in this project is a new bus pullout stop for outbound transportation vehicles and a new bus shelter, which will contribute to better traffic flow. Additionally, the elevated walkway and surrounding sidewalks will have an integrated snowmelt system, preventing buildup of snow during the winter season. This technology is also in the stairs on the northwest side of the Huntsman Arena.