Yawkey Center Construction to Begin

Yawkey Center Construction to Begin

Project will cause changes to Lower Campus parking, traffic

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

With construction of the Yawkey Athletics Center set to begin next week, Boston College Facilities Management administrators have announced a plan to reroute vehicle traffic on Lower Campus, so as to minimize interruptions to daily campus activities, ensure pedestrian and vehicular safety and reduce the number of lost parking spaces.

Tonight at 11 p.m., crews will close the section of Campanella Way that stretches from the administration building at 21 Campanella Way to the Edmonds Gate. All vehicles parked in this area must be removed by this time or they will be towed, say administrators.

During this weekend, Nov. 14-16, the section of campus between the Flynn Recreation Complex and the north end zone of Alumni Stadium between Gate C and Gate E will remain closed to vehicular traffic. Only shuttle bus and pedestrian traffic will be allowed through the area as parking spaces are repainted, traffic controls are installed and fencing is erected around the construction site. The Flynn Recreation Complex will remain open throughout this period.

The area will reopen for vehicular traffic on Monday, Nov. 17, at 7 a.m. However, traffic will be one-way beginning at the intersection of the Commonwealth Avenue parking garage, Campanella Way and the entrance to the commuter lot, and extending to the Edmonds Gate. The roadway adjacent to Edmonds Hall will also be one-way out-bound and vehicles will be prohibited from entering at this gateway.

"In order to minimize traffic snarls and safety concerns on Lower Campus we will essentially make Lower Campus a one-way loop," said Transportation Manager Scott Winchell. "The changes will have no effect on bus routes through Lower Campus, and will help ensure minimal disruption to traffic flow while maintaining high safety margins."

He said new traffic signs will be posted in the vicinity and Boston College Police details will be on hand for assistance.

During this weekend of initial construction work, parking will only be allowed in designated campus lots and garages. To offset the loss of parking spaces, the reserved section on the second level of the Beacon Street parking garage will be temporarily open to all vehicles. The reserved status will resume on Monday, Nov. 17, at 8 a.m.

When completed in early 2005, the four-story, approximately 75,000-square foot Yawkey Athletics Center will be attached to the north side of Alumni Stadium, and will house the varsity football program, the Office of Learning Resources for Student Athletes, and a large function area for general University use.

The one-way traffic pattern will remain in effect until completion of the Yawkey Center. Winchell recommends that all vehicles exiting Lower Campus during the construction of the Yawkey Athletic Center do so through the Edmonds Gateway.

This change in traffic patterns will help alleviate the congestion at the St. Ignatius Gate/Father Herlihy Way/St. Thomas More/Commonwealth Avenue intersection, said Winchell.

"The goal of the project is to change the traffic pattern at this complex intersection by re-routing our exiting traffic through the Edmonds Gateway so that safety and traffic flow are optimized in that area," said Winchell.

The new exit-only status at the Edmonds Gateway will incorporate two exiting lanes, one to head to Commonwealth Avenue, and the other to head to Beacon Street or Chestnut Hill Drive.

This traffic pattern changes coincide with further restrictions at this intersection as Massachusetts Water Resources Authority crews continue a project at this intersection. For a period of four weeks, the traffic pattern at this intersection will change to accommodate continued relining of water pipes and control repairs. State Police will be on hand to aid in traffic control.

For updates on the construction project check the BCInfo Web site.


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