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Summer Construction Alert

Major work under way on sites across Evanston campus

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July 6, 2012 | by Stephen Anzaldi
The work site is prepared for the new Music and Communication Building on the southeast corner of campus.
EVANSTON, Ill. --- With summer in full swing at Northwestern University, major construction is under way on the Evanston campus.

The work site is being prepared for the new Music and Communication Building on the southeast corner of campus. The City of Evanston has begun a project to add state-of-the-art traffic signals along Sheridan Road between Central Street and Chicago Avenue. A complete reconstruction of University Place is on the agenda. And the Mid-campus Green project now follows up the ongoing utility project in the Allen Center parking lot.

Following are notes on the four projects.

MUSIC AND COMMUNICATION BUILDING: INITIAL STEPS

- Arts Circle Drive is now closed, and the east-west leg, east of South Campus Drive, will serve as an entrance to the building site for construction vehicles.

- Pedestrians will continue to have access from the South Beach Parking Garage to the sidewalk along the east side of the Theater and Interpretation Center.

- A temporary sidewalk has been created between the front of the Block Museum of Art and Regenstein Hall.

- Along South Campus Drive, a handicapped accessible route has been created between the parking east of the McCormick Tribune Center and the plaza between the museum and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. This work includes rearranging handicapped and standard parking spaces, curb cuts and sidewalks along South Campus Drive.

- Standard filters in air handling units will be replaced in the buildings on the Arts Circle with carbon filters to minimize introduction of dust from construction work.

- The pedestrian path along the south side of the South Beach Parking Garage will remain open to allow access to the boathouse. However it will be closed between the boathouse and the pond, as this is within the construction zone.

SHERIDAN ROAD TRAFFIC SIGNALS

The City of Evanston is installing new traffic lights on Sheridan Road adjacent to campus (from north to south) at the intersections of Central Street, Lincoln Street, Noyes Street, Northwestern Place, Foster Street and Chicago Avenue.

These state-of-the-art traffic lights will be interconnected for speed control and energy efficiency. Each set of lights will have pedestrian infrared sensors and countdown signals.

A new signal at Northwestern Place – at the parking lot adjacent to the Garrett Theological Seminary – is being added to provide smoother and safer traffic flow on Sheridan Road for both cars and pedestrians.

Northwestern will pay for the traffic signals at Northwestern Place as a gift to the City of Evanston.

Work is scheduled for completion in mid-September.

UNIVERSITY PLACE

Northwestern will reconstruct University Place from Sheridan Road west to Sherman Avenue. The plan calls for creating more green space between Scott Hall and Public Affairs Residential College. A new roadway will improve drainage and the parking layout, and it will feature new sidewalks, crosswalks and lighting.

It is expected the road will remain open during construction (mid-July through August), with access available for all services.

MID-CAMPUS GREEN

The Mid-campus Green project will create a pedestrian-friendly green space in the central part of the Evanston campus. This space currently is two surface parking lots serving the Allen Center, Silverman Hall, Annenberg Hall and other adjacent buildings.

A broad lawn area highlights the project. It will be located south of Silverman Hall and east of Annenberg Hall. The project also features new pedestrian walks, lighting, bike racks and landscaping.

The area between the Pancoe-North Shore University Health System Pavilion and the Allen Center will be enhanced by more pedestrian-friendly materials and traffic control devices intended to restrict traffic from the inner campus. This plan follows the concepts called for in Northwestern's Campus Framework Plan.

Minor modifications will be made to the far east end of the recently completed parking lot at Northwestern Place to visually discourage vehicles from entering the inner campus there.

Work is under way on this project and is scheduled for completion in December.

Topics: University