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Richland Avenue Pedestrian Crossing project begins March 2020

Published: January 14, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The City of Athens, in collaboration with Ohio University, will begin construction of the Richland Avenue Pedestrian Crossing project in early March 2020. 

For many years, both the city and University have received requests to improve safety and congestion issues at the existing crosswalk in the vicinity of Grover Center and Porter Hall. 

The Richland Avenue Pedestrian Crossing project is intended to separate pedestrians from vehicle traffic by elevating the roadway and creating a passageway underneath it for pedestrians. The new pedestrian passageway will be wide, well-lit, and constructed at the same elevation as the existing crosswalk.

“By elevating the roadway for the new passageway between West Green and South Green, pedestrians – including students, staff and faculty – will be able to move safely and independently from the vehicles on the roadway,” Ohio University Chief Facilities Officer Steve Wood said. “This project will not only help with traffic congestion, but it will address the campus’ number one safety concern as well.”

Construction of the new pedestrian crossing and raised roadway will require the city to close both lanes of traffic on Richland Avenue between West Green Drive and Bobcat Lane beginning in March. The project is expected to be complete in September 2020, though the pedestrian walkway is expected to be open in early August and Richland is expected to be open to traffic by the end of August.

During this time, the intersection of Richland Avenue and Bobcat Lane will remain open with temporary limitations. Traffic from Bobcat Lane will be able to turn right onto Richland, and southbound traffic on Richland will be able to turn left into Bobcat Lane. Additionally, the existing crosswalk will be closed to all pedestrians for the duration of the project. 

“The City of Athens and Ohio University have worked together collaboratively to establish vehicular and pedestrian detour plans to help route members of the community and visitors around the construction work safely,” Wood said. “Transportation and Parking Services, in cooperation with Design and Construction, have been collaborating those plans with major campus stakeholders who will be directly impacted by the project.”

There is also a project website provided by Transportation and Parking Services to help communicate. This page will provide construction updates, road updates, and detour directions for colleges and departments to utilize throughout the closure.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to visit the website for more information and to reach out to Transportation and Parking Services for more information.

University community members who have specific questions about the project are encouraged to contact the City of Athens Engineering and Public Works Department by emailing epwsupport@ci.athens.oh.us or calling 740-593-7636.

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