Construction closes Business Loop for 2 months

By By Rita Totten

By Rita Totten

The latest construction project on campus didn’t start without roadblocks, and now that it’s begun, it’s become a big one for students.

The segment of Campus Center Drive, better known as the Business Loop, will be closed for the next two months while an addition to the sewer lines is completed.

Tom Christensen of Campus Design and Construction, said the purpose of the closure is to allow additions to be made to existing sewer lines running under the Business Loop. An addition is needed because the sewer lines are at capacity and cannot accommodate any more buildings. The new lines will serve the increasing infrastructure at the new Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative facility.

Christensen said construction was intended to take place during the summer, but approval from the Utah Department of Transportation and the city delayed plans.

“The original design called for sewer lines to run across 500 South, but were redrafted when construction crews ran into (too much) rock,” Christensen said.

UDOT did not want the excavation to be done across the roads and would rather crews bore underneath them. Redesigning caused the project to be delayed for three months, Christensen said.

The construction will not affect Utah Transit Authority bus and campus shuttle services, so normal service will continue. The two stops located in the closed portion of the Business Loop will continue service from South Campus Drive, and Commuter Services will establish an additional temporary stop on 1725 East.

Pedestrian walkways will also remain open for the duration of the construction.
The two parking lots located in the Business Loop will still be accessible from specified entrances during the construction. A temporary entrance to the parking lot located across from the Utah Museum of Fine Arts will be added. The business lot, a mixture of A-pass, U-pass, and maintenance vehicle parking, and the pay lot can be accessed from the east end of the Business Loop, however. Drivers will be rerouted around the LDS Institute of Religion to enter the lots.

The work will be done in phases and will begin at the corner of 1725 East and run parallel to the UMFA, Christensen said. This first section will be completed in two weeks.
For the two-week second phase, crews will head east until they reach the entrance to the pay lot. The toll booth at the pay lot will also be relocated to allow continued access to the lot.

The final phase of the addition to the sewer lines will run next to the Huntsman Center.
Construction is projected to be completed by Nov. 1.

Erin Kucic, a senior in political science, said the U needs to do more to inform students about construction.

“If I hadn’t overheard someone talking last Friday about the changes, I wouldn’t have been aware,” she said. She said she considers herself lucky that she had enough time to plan ahead and change her commute.

Kucic said she likes to use public transportation because it saves money and is environmentally friendly, but with the constant construction on campus, it makes it difficult.
Despite taking the bus every day from a stop on the Business Loop, Joshua Strait, a junior pre-med student, said he understands the need for the closure. Strait said he has noticed more construction on campus this year than in the past, especially in the Business Loop.

“All my classes are here, so I notice it more,” Strait said. As far as changing his transportation plans, Strait said he thinks he will use TRAX or take the bus from another stop.

“I’ll just have to figure something else out,” he said.
[email protected] chronicle.utah.edu

Mike Mangum

Jeff Delobel of Cazier Excavating stops a car from entering the Business Loop and directs it elsewhere. The Business Loop will be closed for the next two months as crews work on the sewer lines.