Construction underway on new Pine Street crossing

The bridge in front of LaGrange Hall is not accessible while construction of a new walkway takes place.

Construction is underway on a new walkway stretching from Floyd Science Building, across Pine Street, to the new science building.

Assistant Vice President for Facilities Administration and Planning Michael Gautney said the walkway will provide a safer route for crossing the busy street.

“The only pedestrian walkways on Pine Street are by Flowers Hall and Norton Auditorium,” Gautney said. “We want to give students, faculty and staff an easy and safe way to travel over Pine Street. The safety of those on campus is very important to (the university).”

He said the walkway will stem from the existing path beside Floyd Science Building and lead to the walking bridge in front of LaGrange Hall. The bridge will split into two routes — one leading to LaGrange, and the other going under the Pine Street overpass to the new science building.

While the walkway has been under construction, the bridge in front of LaGrange has been closed.

Gautney said it will reopen with the completion of the new path.

“We’re anticipating the walkway to be opened in four to five weeks,” he said.

To avoid the construction site, students can take the stairs in front of LaGrange or the flight left of the building.

Students said the bridge construction makes traveling across campus difficult.

Not having access to the bridge is inconvenient, said junior Kamilah Abernathy.

“I hate using the stairs,” she said. “With the path I take, I have to go on the higher level of campus near the GUC. Since the bridge is out I have to go down the stairs (of LaGrange) and then back up other flights of stairs.”

Abernathy said she will be relieved when the construction is gone so she can walk across the bridge to campus.

The new walkway will make senior Hailey Boeck’s trips to class safer, she said.

“I’m always very careful crossing (Pine Street) just because it’s a very busy road,” she said. “People don’t watch and it has five lanes. So that’s a lot to cross without a bridge or a walkway, which means it can be dangerous. The new walkway is in a really convenient location.”

In addition to the walkway, Gautney said, construction, which can be seen near the bridge in front of LaGrange, is also underway on new decorative columns at the entrance to the bridge. They will be similar to the columns found between Bibb Graves Hall and Harrison Fountain, he said.

There will also be columns near the new science building, he said, and final construction is expected to be completed in 12 to 14 weeks.

“The columns will show the walkway as an entrance to campus and the science building,” he said.

Sophomore Caleb Welsh said he expects the construction will improve the aesthetics of campus.

“It’s not so bad getting around and to classes without the bridge,” he said. “I think it will be worth it once they get it all done.”