HPER construction puts students on a detour

By By Rita Totten

By Rita Totten

Doug Reid, a senior in pre-med, said he doesn’t usually skateboard in the fall because it’s too crowded, but decided to take advantage of the sunshine Monday and commute to class on his board.

However, Reid said he has had to change his route because of the construction on HPER Highway. He has also noticed more construction in the parking lots he usually boards through. Because of the closure of the connection between lower and upper campus, Reid said instead of coming straight down through campus, he went around the soccer fields, next to the Huntsman Center and then cut below the closed portion of HPER. The construction doesn’t add extra time to his commute, but it does add extra effort, he said.

The HPER Highway, the major route for walking, biking and skateboarding students who live in the Residence Halls, was closed about a week ago so the water pipes could be replaced.

“Everyone has adjusted,” to the construction, said Tom Christensen, manager of campus construction and design. Some have adjusted better than others.

Christensen said the first few days they had some issues with students who didn’t want their path blocked. In the first week, Christensen reported incidents of students climbing fences and walking through the sites.

Rob Hamel, a local resident who bikes through campus, said construction has definitely made his ride longer, but he doesn’t mind.

Hamel said which detour he takes around the construction depends on the day.

“Sometimes certain areas are open, sometimes they’re closed,” Hamel said.

This week, Hamel said there was a new detour, and he usually finds out about the new routes the day they happen.

Reid said he noticed some signs last week, which led him to believe the U is trying to inform students and teachers about construction.

“I guess it wasn’t in the budget to print signs up to put all over campus,” Reid said.
Steve Manko, a freshmen in mechanical engineering, lives in the dorms and rides his bike to class.

Manko said to avoid the HPER area that is under construction, he goes around the soccer fields and around the HPER buildings.

“I can make it down pretty quick,” Manko said. “But it adds time.”

Because students are funneled around the construction, Manko said the foot traffic coming down HPER can get bad.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get around people,” Manko said.

Kristie Parry, who lives in the dorms, said she doesn’t like to ride the shuttle because the outdoors are more her thing. Parry, an undecided sophomore, walks to class every day and said it takes at least five to six extra minutes to get there.

“I was late to class because I didn’t know,” Parry said.

Christensen said there was no change to the construction schedule. The project is expected to finish in the middle of November.

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Tyler Cobb

Construction on the HPER Highway has caused some frustration with students who use it for walking, biking and skateboarding. Others have found alternate means of transportation to cope with the situation.