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February 27, 2014

Campus construction slows traffic

By Travis Raymond

Students, faculty and staff traveling north to the campus on East 22nd Street have noticed a new traffic pattern has emerged on the one-way street at Euclid Avenue this semester. 

Where East 22nd Street descends under the university’s courtyard, the number of lanes accessible to traffic have been reduced from three to just one on the far right.  On the left, large sections of the street are open and tended by men in forklifts.

Like the lanes and sidewalks closed to traffic on East 22nd and East 21st between Euclid and Prospect Avenues, the lane closures next to the Student Center are to make way for the new health innovations building.

The lane closures on East 22nd Street between the Student Center and Main Classroom are scheduled to continue until the end of March as construction crews run lines of infrastructure to the university’s new health innovations building.

The lane closures have caused increased traffic congestion and closed off the east entrance to Lot 22, the short-term pay lot below the Student Center.

The lane closures and emerging traffic patterns are necessary because as traffic passes on the street above, construction crews are running new utility lines to the site of the health innovations building.

“The building needs electrical, data, steam, and chill water,” said Joseph Han, the assistant vice president of facilities and safety.  “We’re running that line all along 22nd, and it’ll cross Euclid sometime in April.”

The new building requires new infrastructure, and the new utilities line will tie the building into the university’s existing system.  Crews are digging the new line in sections on both sides of Euclid Avenue so that the utilities systems will be connected by June, according to Han.

The Campus Horn, Cleveland State University’s email newsletter, has posted updates on the construction throughout the semester.

“We just thought of the construction updates about a year ago because we just weren’t getting the word out,” Han said.  “Facilities and Safety has also set up a Twitter and Facebook, so every time we send a campus horn memo, it’s posted on Facebook as well.”
But not all students make use of the Viking Horn updates. 

Jessica Berry, a senior majoring in social work, said she gets by without them.
“I read a couple, but I’m not really a campus person,” Berry said.  “I usually determine what’s going on by driving around.”

Brent Hailey said he was late to his first class when he became stuck in the traffic that built up in East 22nd Street’s one lane.  Construction on East 22nd Street began on the first weekday of the semester.

“I get the updates, but I hadn’t been looking at them,” said Hailey, a sophomore majoring in business.  “I ended up really regretting that.”

Construction crews began working from Chester Avenue south to Euclid Avenue, and those sections closest to Chester Avenue have already been repaved.  According to Han, the construction crews are on schedule to finish installing the line on East 22nd Street by the end of March.