Home City Here’s where City Council is building an underpass on campus

Here’s where City Council is building an underpass on campus

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City Council is planning to spend $3 million on an underpass that separates pedestrians from high-speed traffic. Here’s the location they picked.

City Council approved ordinances on street closures and city safety at its meeting Monday. One major topic was the construction of a tunnel under Richland Avenue. Here’s everything that went down at the meeting:

City safety

  • City Council approved the construction of an underpass outside Porter Hall in order to reduce traffic of the area. Read more about the underpass below.
  • City Council is planning to upgrade the water-treatment facility in order to fix current issues. According to the City of Athens, some of these issues include electrical upgrades, general plant improvements and controls and improvements to the treatment plant’s instrumentation. 
  • City Council is also planning to replace 2,200 feet of sanitary and storm sewers in Athens.

Street closures

  • In order to host a barbecue that will be sponsored by the Joint Police Advisory Council, part of West Mulberry Street and Court Street will be closed Sept. 26 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • All parking will be closed off in the areas of Court Street to Mulberry Street to Carpenter Street on Oct. 28 and 29 because of the Halloween celebration.

Under the surface of the underpass

City Council approved construction of an underpass outside Porter Hall. Its purpose is to reduce traffic and increase safety.

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said that around 1,300 people per hour and 700 vehicles per day pass though the area. The City Council hopes that by creating an underpass, this number will become manageable.

“I think it will enhance and make the area safer, which is what we need to do,” Patterson said.

“Our job here is public safety. Yes, there will be cost, but on the other hand, running over students is also costly.”

The projected cost for the underpass is $2.5 to $3 million, and the city was awarded over $1 million from a state grant to improve the area. Overall, the city would only be paying $350,000 to $400,000 for this project.

The underpass would stretch from the bridge to the bus stop by Porter Hall and would be up to 30 feet wide. However, it would be built high enough in the ground to let natural sunlight come through.

After council members discussed the underpass, the mayor echoed his own approval of the project.

“From my old office, from when it was in Porter Hall room 247, I was in the office during two occasions where there was a vehicle and pedestrian conflict,” Patterson said.

“During one serious occasion one individual had to be life-lighted. That individual had been on their way to becoming a clinical psychologist, and because of that particular instinct that was taken away from them.”

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One Comment

  1. […] alone was skeptical of the Richland Tunnel Project, stating that “We may wish to look into other options to ease traffic flow through the area […]


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