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Sept. 1, 2011 Volume 33, No. 2

Campus departments collaborate to handle game-day traffic

Monk traffic

CLOSED FOR REPAIR Major construction on Monk Drive, which connects Stadium Boulevard and Hospital Drive, has forced the closure of the VA Hospital parking lot, which typically serves Tiger fans on game day. However, a temporary drive will provide easy access to a parking lot at Stadium and College. Photo by Nicholas Benner


Parking will change for first home game

With Monk Drive expected to remain closed until mid-October, Campus Facilities is working with MU Police to ease traffic problems around Memorial Stadium for the Tigers’ first two home football games.

A major utility project in the area has forced the closure of the parking lot of Truman Veterans Hospital, northeast of Memorial Stadium, for this week’s game against Miami (Ohio). The VA Hospital lot may also be closed for the Sept. 17 contest with Western Illinois.

However, fans will be able to access parking lot CG-1, at the northwest corner of Stadium Boulevard and College Avenue, from College starting Friday evening. By then, Campus Facilities will have completed a temporary drive that connects CG-1 to College. The lot will be open to both northbound and southbound traffic off College before the game. Drivers will be required to turn south onto College, toward Stadium, when they exit after the game.

Maj. Doug Schwandt of MU Police said the department, as usual, will work with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Columbia Police, Campus Facilities and MU Parking and Transportation Services to coordinate game day traffic.

The department has been staffing traffic lights at two key intersections especially impacted by Monk Drive’s closure, Schwandt said. Officers have been manually changing traffic lights from 3-6 p.m. at Hospital Drive and College Avenue and at Hospital and Virginia Avenue since classes began Aug. 22.

Monk Drive has been closed since June 27 so Campus Facilities could replace a major storm sewer pipe. Failure of the 54-inch pipe, which dates back to the late 1950s, could have flooded the south end of campus, including the VA and University hospitals and the Hearnes Center, in the event of a large storm. 

Greg Watts, director of facilities operations, said Campus Facilities replaced the old pipe, which originally ran underneath the VA Hospital parking lot, with a new 78-inch pipe installed beneath Monk Drive, along with a new steam tunnel.

“We’ve been monitoring the storm sewer pipe for well over 10 years,” Watts said. “We finally got to the point where it was in jeopardy of failure.”

The university’s utility work in Monk Drive is expected to be finished this week. The VA, per an agreement with the university, is responsible for rebuilding and repaving the road.