Saturday, August 14, 1999

Garage construction to tangle NKU traffic




BY PATRICK CROWLEY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HIGHLAND HEIGHTS — The solution to providing more parking at Northern Kentucky University could cause problems the first few days of classes.

        Construction of a $3.7 million, three-deck, 321-space parking garage being built on the campus' south side will keep University Drive closed until at least mid-October, according to NKU spokesman Rick Meyers.

        “The garage is being built over University Drive, which is one of our main traffic arteries through campus,” Mr. Meyers said. “That's going to cause us some traffic problems, particularly for the first few days of classes.”

        Classes are scheduled to begin Aug. 25.

        Students entering the main campus entrance off U.S. 27 will find University Drive closed at the traffic light on Nunn Drive. The road is also closed near the “back” entrance to NKU off Johns Hill Road.

        NKU Public Safety Director Don McKenzie said he doesn't think the road closure will cause prolonged traffic problems.

        “I'm sure it will cause somewhat of a problem at first, but we've put up a lot of signs to let the students and staff know about the situation,” Mr. McKenzie said.

        “Once people get used to it and know they can't take University Drive, then I think any problems will end,” he said. “But it will be an inconvenience, particularly for the faculty and staff who use parking lots in that area and who are used to taking University Drive.”

        The mid-October date for completing the garage is “soft,” Mr. Meyers said. “That's when the contractor is planning to be finished; but depending on how the construction goes, that may be moved back a little later in the fall.”

        Students, however, will find some new parking spaces when they return from summer break.

        A 235-space lot has been built on the hillside below Johns Hill Road on the south side of campus near the new garage. And Lot M, adjacent to the Residential Village dorms, has been expanded by 200 spaces.

        But more traffic problems are likely to begin in late September when construction of the $38 million Natural Science Building begins.

        The work will force portions of Nunn Drive in the center of campus to close, Mr. Meyers said.

       



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