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April 29, 2010 Volume 31, No. 29

Road closings will help speed campus construction projects this summer

Project planning

Goal is to minimize any inconvenience

On one level, planning for Mizzou’s large construction projects can be almost like launching a massive military campaign. The logistics can be daunting: ensuring access to roads and buildings throughout campus, coordinating with city fire and police departments so emergency crews can get through, locating the least disruptive staging sites for construction equipment — even finding off-site parking for construction crews.

Campus is less congested in the summer, so when many students leave at the end of this semeester, a number of projects will begin that will require an orchestrated series of road closings. Much of that work is scheduled to begin May 17 and will be completed before the fall semester begins. It will require closing portions of Locust, Fifth and Sixth streets, and Conley and Maryland avenues for various lengths of time.

“We know that this will be an inconvenience for some people, but we try to do everything we can to minimize any disruptions,” says Larry Hubbard, director of Campus Facilities-Planning, Design and Construction. “Our goal is to be able to say, ‘You can get there from here.’ ” 

On pages 4 and 5 of this edition of Mizzou Weekly, Campus Facilities has provided a campus map that details each of the more than 10 projects. Details and timelines also are available online at

Perhaps the most wide-ranging will be a project to install new chilled water lines that provide air conditioning to buildings throughout campus. Most of the new chilled water lines will be completed within several weeks, however the projects on Sixth Street and on Conley Avenue will last until mid-August, Hubbard says.

The project’s purpose is to complete the campuswide chilled water loop and to expand chilled water capacity to the portion of campus south of Rollins Street where several building projects are planned or under construction.

The plan is to keep one lane of Conley open as chilled water lines are installed between Maryland Avenue and Speaker’s Circle. The steam tunnel work currently under way on Conley between Sixth Street and Maryland Avenue is scheduled for completion in early August. 

The section of Stewart Road between Fifth and Fourth streets will be reopened in several weeks when work on the steam tunnel there is completed. Later this summer, Stewart will be closed again between Fifth Street and Providence Road as work on the power plant upgrade gets under way.

Another factor that complicates the planning equation is the extensive renovations that will begin this summer on Switzler and Tate halls. Also this summer, the city of Columbia will be repaving a number of city streets on or near campus: Hitt, Rollins and Wilson streets, Ashland Road, Kentucky Boulevard and Maryland Avenue. Those are city-run projects and specific dates are not yet known. 

In addition, Hubbard says, the intersection of Hitt and Rollins streets will be closed for much of the summer as crews repair a steam line that has been damaged by seeping groundwater. Project plans call for ensuring access on Hitt Street north of the intersection for Ellis Library, the Agriculture Building and the new student center.

That intersection is a hub of student pedestrian traffic, especially during class change periods, so planners also are making sure there will be pedestrian access through the work area on the west side of Hitt Street and along the south side of Rollins.

Planners looked at scenarios to keep the intersection partially open, but that approach would mean the project would take much longer, Hubbard says. “We decided it would be best to just close the whole thing, get in and get out and be done with it.”