The University Record, September 18, 1995

New parking lot on tap for North Campus; Beal Avenue will be rerouted

By Sally Pobojewski
News and Information Services

Relief is in sight for students, faculty and staff who have coped with less-than-adequate parking on North Campus since construction began last year on the new Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center and the Integrated Technology Instruction Center.

If weather cooperates, a new 185-space, stone-surfaced parking lot will be open sometime in November, although the new lot won’t be paved until spring of 1996—according to Jagdish Janveja, director of facilities planning and design for the Plant Extension Office. The new North Campus parking lot will be located directly east of the Industrial and Operations Engineering Building and the Cooley Lab Building.

To make room for the new parking lot, Bonisteel Boulevard will be extended and Beal Avenue will be relocated in an arc about 200 feet to the east. The new road will merge into the existing Beal Avenue just south of the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Building.

“Traffic disruption will be minimal, because we won’t close the existing roads until the new roads are finished,” says Paul A. Spradlin, director of the Plant Extension Office.

Spradlin notes that the decision to relocate Beal Avenue was not dictated solely by the need for more parking space. “The road was in bad shape and needed to be resurfaced, anyway,” Spradlin says. “Re-routing Beal will let us remove the existing service road, improve access to entrances and provide more attractive landscaping for all College of Engineering buildings facing Beal.”

Spradlin emphasizes that the new Beal Avenue route was chosen to preserve as many trees on the site as possible.

“We have already relocated 15 trees,” Janveja says, “and changed the route slightly to preserve others. We will need to clear out brush and few evergreens, but we will re-plant 10 times as many as we remove.”

Cost of the project is estimated at $950,000.