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Roadway, parking changes will affect campus drivers

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 33 - June 1, 1995

Several road- and parking-related projects, already under way or slated to begin later this summer, will create disruption and detours for drivers on campus.

Under construction now is a change to the parking configuration on the inner side of the Drillfield on the south and north straightaways of the oval roadway. The project is expected to take about four weeks to complete. For safety reasons, the parallel parking spaces on the War Memorial Gym side of the Drillfield will be eliminated. A bike lane may also be added in the area now dedicated to parallel parking.

An alternate parking area for drivers who normally use the Drillfield spaces is the Wallace Lot. Additionally, the parking area at the west end of the Duck Pond will be improved to offer alternative spaces.

(Editor's note: For faculty and staff members who would like an alternative means of transportation during the construction, Blacksburg Transit (BT) offers bus service to campus as well as shuttle service from Litton Reaves to the Drillfield area, Squires, and other campus locations.

Buses run during summer session from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Friday. Buses arrive at and leave from campus stops at 15 minutes before and after each hour.

Faculty and staff members may ride the BT at no charge by showing their Virginia Tech ID. For a more complete schedule, contact the BT office.)

Most of the Drillfield project involves paving and remarking the roadway. The project is subject to the Virginia Department of Transportation's paving schedule. Drillfield roadway paving is paid for by the Department of Transportation.

To make way for the new engineering building, the parking lot east of Whittemore Hall will be closed, probably around June 15. The $13-million construction project for the 108,000-square-foot facility will begin soon thereafter.

Additional faculty-staff parking will be made available in the B-lot and new parking areas will be created and paved near Stanger Street.

Branch Construction Company of Roanoke, which also built Payne Hall and the Fralin Biotechnology Center, was the successful bidder. "We are quite pleased with Branch's track record. Both Payne and Fralin have been on schedule and on or under budget," Karp said. The engineering building is one part of the $24-million Architecture and Engineering Project. Originally conceived as one building, final plans now call for a new architecture addition to be built under Cowgill Plaza.

In another change, Spring Road from Stadium Road to Southgate Drive will close on or about July 1, according to Peter Karp, university architect. "We will be grading the area and preparing for the construction of the new soccer/track complex", Karp said. The long-awaited soccer and track facility will be located in the flat area between Southgate and Rector Fieldhouse. Traffic will be rerouted to Duck Pond Drive. Construction is scheduled to begin in August. During this summer and fall, traffic engineering studies will be under way to determine how Spring Road should be realigned or if it should be closed altogether.