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Tempe campus road improvements may slow commuters

May 15, 2013

Construction crews will begin work May 20 on a project to expand the service drive south of the Tempe campus bookstore. Work on the road project will end Aug. 10.

When complete, the road will extend from the Memorial Union loading dock on the west to the intersection of Lemon Street and McAllister Avenue on the east.

The intersection of McAllister Avenue and Lemon Street will see lane restrictions from June 15 to Aug. 10, as the service road is aligned with Lemon Street. Drivers on McAllister Avenue should expect delays during construction. The west end of Lemon Street will close to all traffic during the same time, except for vehicles accessing loading docks on the north side of Hassayampa Academic Village. Drivers heading west on Lemon Street will be detoured to Apache Boulevard.

“The project needs to be completed before the fall semester to get ready for the return of the students,” said ASU project manager Pedro Chavarriaga. “Motorists, pedestrians, skateboarders and cyclists are advised to obey traffic signs and exercise caution when approaching areas under construction.”

The work will widen the current service drive to 26 feet, allowing commercial vehicles to make deliveries to the bookstore and the Memorial Union. The drive also will allow access for emergency vehicles.

Phase 1 construction work will affect pedestrian traffic at Palm Walk just southwest of Computing Commons, and will close the northwest corner of the running track at the Sun Devil Fitness Fields as the road is enlarged. Phase 1 also will close Lot 41, a parking area that serves disabled drivers visiting the Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law building, as improvements are made to the lot and a solar canopy is erected.

In phase 2, workers will construct a new section of roadway to connect the service drive to Lemon Street. The new section of roadway will require the removal of the landscaped rocky hill south of Ross-Blakley Law Library. Saguaro cactuses on the hill will be relocated to other campus areas.

During the project, traffic entering the bookstore parking lot will continue to have access on the north side, but construction will block egress on the south. A new traffic control gate will be installed to the south of the Bookstore, keeping private vehicles from driving west beyond the bookstore parking lot.

Although there are no plans to close Palm Walk, Chavarriaga advises pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders and other vehicles should exercise caution near the site.

“We are not planning to close Palm Walk during this project,” Chavarriaga said. “However, when the project is complete, Palm Walk users will have to be more attentive since there will be vehicular traffic where it didn’t exist before.”

New signs on Palm Walk will warn pedestrians of cross traffic, which at times may include large delivery vehicles – like tractor trailers – crossing in front of them.

Eric Jensen,
ASU Facilities Development and Management