Believe it: Boulevard construction still set for late-August completion

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 in News

The central-campus streetscape remains cleaved from stem to stern, yet University Architect Jim Modig assures the KU Alumni Association that Phase II of the four-summer reconstruction of Jayhawk Boulevard is still on target for completion by the Aug. 25 start of fall classes. Modig, a’73, says that while this summer’s work is approximately a week behind schedule, plans also included a “buffer” to account for weather delays.

“The project will be done for the fall semester,” Modig says.

Completion of “landscaping and less critical items” will continue into early fall.

This summer’s boulevard enhancement extends from Poplar Lane, between Strong and Snow halls, to the four-way intersection where Sunflower Road crosses Jayhawk Boulevard. Because the intersection at the heart of campus is impassable—even pedestrians and bicyclists are routed on wide detours behind Bailey Hall to the north of the four-way stop and between Watson Library and Stauffer-Flint Hall to the south—the entire boulevard between the Chi Omega fountain and 14th Street traffic booths has been closed to vehicle traffic since Commencement.

Next summer’s work will extend the improvements to Lilac Lane, adjacent to Danforth Chapel, and the project will be completed in summer 2016 with upgrades north to 13th Street—and possibly a bit beyond, depending on the remaining financial resources.

On its surface, the $11 million project is a sorely needed boulevard beautification—with an entirely new street surface, overdue landscape replacement, enhanced lighting, and improved crosswalks and other pedestrian safety features. Below ground, storm sewer and utility upgrades will help manage stormwater runoff, with new underground collection pools designed to filter the overflow water and feed it back toward the thirsty roots of new trees and other plantings.

—Chris Lazzarino

Staff photographer Dan Storey took photos of the progress on the boulevard this week. Watch the slideshow below or click here to see the pictures on Flickr.

 

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