Ohio University

Richland Avenue Pedestrian Crossing Project

Please find below a summary of project details, construction timelines and other detour accommodations for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. This link will be utilized to share updates & announcements as the project progresses.

Project Details:

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. 

Richland Pedestrian Crossing Old vs New

"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."

A timeline for project completion has been identified below:

  • Monday, March 2, 2020: Construction begins, Richland Avenue closes between West Green Drive and Bobcat Lane
  • Monday, August 7, 2020: Pedestrian pathway opens for use
  • Friday, August 28, 2020: Richland Avenue opens to vehicular traffic
  • Friday, September 11, 2020: Substantial completion of the project, all final elements complete

Vehicular Detour Routes

A robust Maintenance of Traffic Plan has been developed to guide motorists along the suggested detour routes.

Vehicles entering campus from Richland can access the Uptown area by following the detour signage outlined below:

  • Turn Left onto South Shafer Street at the intersection with Richland Avenue
  • Turn Right on West Union Street, following the road to the traffic light at the intersection with Congress Street

Vehicles that are uptown can access the South end of Richland by following detour signage outlined below:

  • Turn Right onto West Union Street, follow the road to the traffic light at the intersection with South Shafer Street
  • Turn Left onto South Shafer Street at the intersection with Richland Avenue

Bobcat Lane will be accessible:

  • For traffic leaving Oxbow Lane turning Right onto Richland Avenue
  • For traffic on Richland Avenue driving South, turning Left into Bobcat Lane
  • There will be periodic impacts to Bobcat Lane throughout the project that may limit traffic. Updates will be provided as we approach impact dates.
Richland Pedestrian crossing vehicular detours

Pedestrian Detour Routes

A robust signage plan has been developed to guide pedestrians along the suggested detour routes.

An ADA pedestrian detour will be established in addition to a non-ADA detour that will also be available. Please see the image below outlining two recommended paths for pedestrian travel.

Richland Pedestrian Crossing pedestrian detours

Building access to Porter Hall and Grover Center will be maintained at the South ADA accessible entrance of the buildings. The North/West entrances will be closed as they fall within the limits of the construction area.

Guest & Visitor Travel Directions 

From North/East:

US-32 WB/ US-33 EB/ US-50WB

Suggested Directions

Follow US-33 SB to Athens. After entering Athens continue on US-33 and take Stimson Ave exit 197C. After crossing the Stimson Ave bridge, travel through the roundabout, turning Left onto North 1804 Way. Take North 1804 Way to Mill Street and turn Left onto South Green Drive that leads to central campus or turn Right onto Rufus St to access East/South Greens. Once on campus please follow event staff and directional signage*.

From South/West:

US-32 EB/ US-33 WB/ US-50 EB

Suggested Directions

Follow US-33 NB/US-32 EB/US-50 EB and take the SR-682 exit 198 to the Richland Ave roundabout. Turn Right at the roundabout and cross the Richland Ave bridge. After crossing the bridge, you may turn Right onto South Green Drive, turn Left onto Shafer St, or continue straight on Richland to West Green Drive. Access further North on Richland Ave will be completely closed beyond West Green Dr. Once on campus please follow event staff and directional signage*.

*Please note that on large event days traffic may be heavier than usual. We recommend allowing additional travel time. Directional signage begins at the major highways and guests are highly encouraged to follow this instruction. Event staff will only be present on major event dates such as Commencement, Move-Out, Move-In, etc.

Richland Pedestrian Crossing Guest Travel

Transit Impacts

Ohio University Campus Transit:

The Blue Loop, a daily campus shuttle route, will operate on a slightly modified route to accommodate all stop location areas. Beginning March 2, 2002 through May 1, 2020, the Blue Loop will become a 20-minute loop due to the construction impacts. The 'Porter" bus stop location will be shifted to Grosvenor Hall on West Green Drive. Please see an updated route map below.

All other campus transit routes will be running their regular schedule and routes however occasional delays may be expected.

We encourage individuals utilizing campus transit and Bobcat Pass to download the Doublemap App for real time bus tracking and ride announcements throughout the construction period. 

Richland Pedestrian Crossing Blue Loop Modification

Updates or Announcements:

The project is currently scheduled to commence on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Monday, March 2- Tuesday, March 3, 2020: The Southbound Lane of Bobcat Lane will be closed for median removal. The lane will reopen as work is completed.

Thursday, March 5, 2020: The Southbound Lane of Bobcat Lane will be closed for the installation of temporary lighting at the intersection of Richland Ave. This is expected to be a 4-hour closure beginning at 8am lasting through 12pm, or until the work is completed. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020: West Green Drive will be closed at the intersection of Richland Avenue to allow for storm drain work. This is expected to be a one day closure with the roadway opening once work is completed. 

Follow our Twitter @OUTransParking for up-to-date road closures, transit impacts, and important construction updates. 

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