Heads up: A campus road near you may close this summer

The summer months equal road construction season at Iowa State, and 2015 will present a few significant projects. Here's a quick overview of the key ones; updates will be provided in faculty/staff announcements this summer as details become firm.

Wallace Road/Farm House Lane

The south end of Farm House Lane, removed in 2004, will be reconstructed and its juncture with Wallace Road reconfigured beginning days after spring commencement. Wallace Road and the adjacent sidewalks also will be elevated, as much as four feet in places. When it's completed, the south end of Farm House Lane will be gated to restrict vehicle traffic. This project will achieve several goals:

  • Improve fire and general access to buildings at the south end of Farm House Lane
  • Assure service access and fire protection to buildings along the road during the Bessey Hall east addition construction, which, beginning next spring, will close the north section of Farm House Lane for about 18 months
  • Eliminate steeper sidewalks in the Farm House Lane-Wallace Road-Union Drive triangle, making the walks compliant with ADA standards (slopes of less than 5 percent)

City projects with campus impact

Phased road reconstruction projects underway by the city on Hayward Avenue (near the Intermodal Facility) and West and Woodland streets will close sections of those streets and impact access to campus through September.

The city also plans to replace the traffic signals at the 13th Street/ Stange Road and Lincoln Way/Union Drive intersections sometime between mid-May and early August. These projects will require temporary lane closings.

Landscape architect Angie Solberg said a top goal is to make the Farm House corridor safer for pedestrians -- particularly its middle section (between Troxel and Ross halls) -- where there is a large volume of east-west foot traffic. Solberg said a long-term plan, once the Bessey Hall addition is complete, is to create a pedestrian corridor through the middle section of Farm House Lane by restricting vehicle access.

Work on the south end of Farm House Lane will begin May 11 and last about two months. As part of this project, and dependent on weather for timing, Lot 49 (behind Curtiss Hall) will be out of service while crews replace the concrete top of a utility tunnel before reconstructing the road over it. Solberg anticipates the lot closing will last two to three weeks during June.

Union Drive bridge

When Wallace Road reopens, a section of Union Drive in that vicinity will close for improvements to the bridge over College Creek. The bridge's existing west sidewalk and roadway will be removed and narrowed slightly so an east sidewalk can be added. A footbridge over College Creek just east of the Union Drive bridge will be removed. This work is scheduled to begin in early July and last about four weeks. The Knoll driveway will remain accessible via Lincoln Way.

North section of Beach Road

As part of the multiyear project to bring three natural gas boilers online in the ISU power plant, a 250-foot stretch of Beach Road, between the power plant and Forker Building, will close on May 11. Crews will run a high-voltage electrical feeder line from the substation north of the plant to the new boilers at the southeast corner of the plant – and under Beach Road for a stretch. Assistant director of utility services Randy Larabee said the work will close Beach Road for six weeks, perhaps longer if wet weather or underground complications impede progress.

West section of Osborn Drive

As part of the Davidson Hall demolition project, a utility tunnel running south of the former building will be removed, requiring a 50-foot length of Osborn Drive to close for about three weeks. That work begins on May 11 and should be completed by June 1.

CyRide bus routes impacted by the various road projects will be rerouted to nearby campus streets during the road closings. Details will be shared on the CyRide detours website and at the affected stops.

At a glance: Road projects by impact and location

Full road closings: Central campus (with anticipated dates)

  • Wallace Road: from Union Drive intersection east to the parking deck entrance, May 11 to early July
  • Beach Road: between power plant and Forker Building, May 11-June 26
  • Osborn Drive: 50-foot section north of Snedecor Hall, May 11-June 1
  • South end of Farm House Lane (includes entrance to Lot 49 southeast of Curtiss Hall), 2-3 weeks in June
  • Union Drive: from Wallace Road intersection to The Knoll entrance, early July to Aug. 1

Full road closing: Iowa State Center

  • Center Drive: from Beach Avenue to the east side of Stephens Auditorium, schedule TBA

Full road closings: University/Schilletter Village (with anticipated dates)

  • Stotts Road: from Blankenburg to Bruner drives, June-July timeframe
  • Bruner Drive: from Stotts Road to lot 201E, late summer
  • Blankenburg Drive entrance: from Stange Road, schedule TBA
  • Edenburn Drive entrance: from 24th Street, schedule TBA

Lane closings (road remains open)

  • Sheldon Avenue Extension: concrete patching at the south end (includes south entrance to Lot 9 west of the College of Design), schedule TBA
  • Union Drive: Between Bissell Road and Sheldon Avenue, concrete patching, schedule TBA
  • Crack and joint sealing between May 11 and Aug. 7: Pammel, Osborn and Union drives, University Boulevard, Wallace, Morrill, Haber, Veenker Golf and Bissell roads, State and Hayward avenues. The goal is to complete much of this work in the early mornings, evenings and on weekends.

Major sidewalk projects

  • Osborn Drive, from Physics to Science I halls, north side sidewalk will be widened, completed by Aug. 7, schedule TBA
  • Curtiss Hall, west ground-level entrance and sidewalk improvements, either during May or a July-Aug. 15 timeline (schedule TBA), area will be open during June
  • Sidewalk repairs will occur across campus from May 11 to Aug. 7