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Stretch of Douglas Road to close

Katie Perry | Friday, March 3, 2006

With plans set and a vision established, the University is ready to continue its quest for development with the campus roads project – a procedure that will force the closure of some heavily trafficked routes on and around campus next week.

A portion of Douglas Road between Juniper and Ivy roads will be closed from Monday until early May, University spokesman Dennis Brown said in a statement Wednesday.

Part of Bulla Road, east of campus, and part of Ivy Road, north of Vaness Street, will also be closed to motorists during this period.

The purpose of the closings is to allow construction to begin on a roundabout at the Douglas-Ivy intersection and is “necessary to widen Douglas Road,” vice president for Business Operations Jim Lyphout said.

The road closures will also permit the completion of a new four-lane road – North Twyckenham Drive – east of Notre Dame campus.

Brown said once construction is completed in May, the extension of Twyckenham from Edison to Douglas, and on to Juniper, will likely improve the time it takes motorists to travel “in every direction near Notre Dame.”

“This four-lane north-south corridor will be much faster than [the] current route through campus with stoplights,” Lyphout told The Observer in an article published Sept. 27, 2004. “It will be a better road and a faster road.”

This spring’s roadwork is part of a larger campus roads project, which Lyphout said is estimated to cost $23.77 million. Primarily launched in response to safety concerns arising from a predicted increase in pedestrian traffic – due to construction on the northern area of campus – the project is also part of a master plan that restricts how far the campus will ultimately expand.

“We have a blue line that tells us how far we can spread outwards, because we don’t want a sprawling, non-walkable campus,” Lyphout told The Observer in the Sept. 27, 2004 article.

Lyphout said all new construction will rest within the blue line – a decision that necessitates the closure of Juniper Road once all alternative routes are in place.

The section of Juniper Road that bisects campus will close in August, Brown said.

The University, local government officials and the general public negotiated for three years about the campus roads project until it was eventually approved by the Saint Joseph County Council on June 8, 2004.

Brown said one concession made by the University during this procedure was its agreement to build a new north-south roadway on the eastern edge of campus.

Brown said motorists who enter campus along its northern edge – from the east on Douglas – should use Clev-eland Road to Juniper on the north and Edison Road to Eddy on the south for the duration of the road closing.

Additional closings will occur in May due to construction on another portion of Douglas and on Saint Joseph’s Drive, Brown said.