Constuction Safety

Constuction Safety

Construction on Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus is well underway, and aside from some minor set backs as a result from weather, vice president for facilities planning, James Moyer, said progress is ticking along.

However, along with the upside of progress comes the downside – a large amount of construction traffic and shut downs across campus.

“Our goal is not to have that mass of trucks on West Campus Drive when school starts,” Moyer said.

Both Moyer and Capt. Brandon DeHaan, assistant director of the Department of Public Safety at GVSU, said obeying the provided detours are essential to the safety of students, faculty and staff walking around campus this summer.

The shut down walkway from the Student Services building to Kirkhof – a result of underground utility work – has caused the biggest concentration of confusion for pedestrians on campus. At the beginning of construction, much foot traffic was diverted behind the Cook DeWitt building, but since then the area has been fenced off and blocked off, causing some aggravation from pedestrians. However, DeHaan and Moyer said the area was not built for or intended as a footpath, and consequently raises a number of safety concerns.

“We had folks that shouldn’t be walking there, walking there- there’s great potential for injury,” DeHaan said. “There is not adequate lighting for it to be a walk path for folks during the evening hours, which was one of the main reasons it was shut down. “

Alternate routes have been marked for safer travel. One detour goes through the Little Mackinaw Bridge and the other goes along North Campus Drive by parking Lot H. DeHaan and Moyer advised students to use the provided routes versus the walking along the road – which has prompted the university to place student workers to help direct traffic until Aug. 1, when the regular walkway is scheduled for restoration.

The traffic signal at the intersection of Ravine Drive, Residence Drive and Campus Drive has also caused the university to shut down a stretch of Campus Drive until it’s completion. The construction has also altered the bus route, which will return to normal after the traffic signal project is complete. Currently, a temporary road is provided as a detour for motorists entering the university through the front entrance.

“All of these projects had extensive prior planning and we are trying to make the least amount of impact (on students) as possible,” DeHaan said. “While it affects summer classes, it could be a lot worse.”

The traffic signal at the intersection of Calder Drive and South Campus Drive has already been completed. With a semester full of collisions at this intersection, Moyer and DeHaan hope the traffic light gives motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists a sense that all of their concerns were heard.

The recreation fields have seen some minor delays due to rain, but the rim of the track is currently underway and Moyer hopes progress will continue as scheduled.

“It is anticipated that when school starts, the library will be the most significant thing undone,” Moyer said.

The university also plans to begin repairs on parking lots throughout campus in the coming weeks.

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