As Duke prepares for the start of a new academic year and the return of students to campus, Duke community members ability to travel around campus will become more convenient along two main roadways.
A season full of road construction is wrapping up - despite delays due to higher-than-normal summer rainfall. Motorists traveling along Campus Drive, Duke University Road and West Main Street will see changes now and in coming months.
West Main Street
The North Carolina Department of Transportation's project to replace the bridge on West Main Street that sits over Campus Drive is scheduled to finish in October. A portion of the street along East Campus between North Buchanan Boulevard and Swift Avenue/Broad Street has been closed for about four months months.
However, on Aug. 20, for first-year student move-in on East Campus, NCDOT will open an entry at the West Main-North Buchanan intersection so students and their families can travel to Campus Drive and access East Campus. A temporary opening will also be made at the Swift Avenue/Broad Street intersection with West Main Street so families can access the semi-circle in front of the Southgate Residence Hall.
No through traffic will be allowed along West Main Street past the bridge, which is still under construction.
West Main Street at North Buchanan will be open only to new students beginning around 8 a.m. Aug. 20 through the afternoon. West Main Street at Swift Avenue/Broad Street will be open from 10:30 a.m. to noon for access to Southgate. Move-in activities are expected to finish between 3 and 5 p.m., when West Main Street will close again to all motorists.
Also as part of the move-in process, traffic will be allowed on Campus Drive underneath the West Main Street bridge beginning Aug. 19. It will act as the main egress route for families leaving East Campus residence halls after move-in and will remain open for pedestrians and traffic through the duration of the bridge construction. From Aug. 20 onward, there may be periodic closures during night hours for construction activities.
In the coming weeks, work on the bridge will include pouring concrete to solidify the bridge deck.
Portions of Campus Drive were closed off this summer in order to install piping from West Campus to assist in the cooling of buildings on East Campus. In addition, new curbing and sidewalks are being added as well as new pavement, bike lanes and improved drainage.
Due to this summer's heavy rainfall that delivered almost eight inches above normal through July and delayed construction efforts across campus, the project is scheduled to be restarted while most students aren't around during winter break and completed next summer. The eastern portion of Campus Drive is left for piping to be installed as well as upgrades to pavement and pedestrian access.
"Due to impacts on transportation around campus, we won't try to complete the project while school is in session," said John Noonan, vice president for Facilities.
In addition to completing work along Campus Drive, Noonan noted renovation of the Chapel Drive roundabout on West Campus will take place over the upcoming academic year's winter and summer of 2014.
Duke University Road
Crews installing natural gas pipelines are working to complete work along Duke University Road by the end of August before moving onto their next portion, which includes installing piping on Cameron Boulevard.
Work on Duke University Road will shut down during student move-in on Aug. 20 as well as Aug. 31 for Duke's home football game against North Carolina Central University.
PSNC Energy Company, which is in charge of the construction, expects to move onto Cameron Boulevard around Sept. 1 and move north, from the Duke University Road-Cameron Boulevard intersection toward the 15-501 overpass.
Floyd Williams, project manager with Duke's Facilities Management Department, said that because the work will take place on a four-lane road, motorists may expect less traffic congestion than normal.
Crews will be on-hand to direct traffic. Work will continue to take place during daytime hours but may require overnight and weekend work on an as-needed basis. The construction is expected to complete by the end of October.