Construction complete on University Place roads and parking lot

After a months-long construction project that cost more than $800,000, students on the north side of campus were greeted with an overhauled road and parking lot when moving in at the beginning of the semester.

The road construction, which included tearing up University Place, the circle outside the towers and the Granskou Hall parking lot to entirely re-pave them, served as a permanent fix to the multiple potholes and cracks that had been showing up in recent years, according to Andrea Smith, Augustana’s director of project management and facility services.

By the end of last year, the road and parking lot were at the “end-of-life” stage, Smith said, which means they were the most pressing items to be repaired. Additionally, temporary fixes, such as filling the potholes, were no longer worthwhile at the stage they were in.

“It was top-priority to get fixed as soon as we found the money to do so,” Smith said. “So it’s been in the works for a very long time.”

While the quality of the pavement was the main reason for the construction, the overhaul also allowed for the Granskou parking lot to be redesigned in a more maneuverable way.

The new design has space for two lanes of traffic all throughout the lot, Smith said. Because of this, the designated fire lane was able to be removed, allowing cars to enter and exit from both entryways.

Construction of the road and parking lot started after move-out last semester and went until 11 p.m. on August 27, the night before move-in.

According to Smith, construction was set back when it was discovered that the tunnels running beneath the Granskou lot were higher than expected. As a result, that section of the lot had to be raised.

Due to this complication, there was some worry about whether or not the construction would be finished by move-in day. According to director of housing operations Jenna Bump, the initial deadline was August 20. The completion date was then pushed back to the day before students arrived, Smith said.

Because of the project, University Place and the Granskou parking lot were blocked off throughout July and August. During this time, the only parking available to summer residents who were staying in Stavig Hall was in the Tuve lot.

According to Bump, students adapted to these temporary changes well.

“If students were annoyed, they saw that good work was being done and that there was an end in sight, so maybe that limited the frustrations a little,” Bump said. “Everyone knew that it needed to be done.”

The next parking construction project planned is the Solberg Hall lot, which will get a new layer of asphalt in two years.