Students at the University of Toledo can expect longer commutes, traffic delays and lane restrictions on Bancroft Street as the city’s construction project goes into its final phase this spring.
The roughly $9 million project is part of Toledo’s master plan to repair and improve the city’s infrastructure, said Karl Huss, senior professional engineer for the City of Toledo.
Phase one of the Bancroft project began last fall by replacing a 30-inch by 72-inch storm sewer pipe to improve the area’s drainage system and to prevent the Ottawa River from flooding into Old Orchard, Huss said.
The second phase will reconstruct Bancroft from Secor Road to the Ottawa River bridge. It will begin in March and is expected to end by Nov. 1, Huss said.
“Right now, Columbia Gas is replacing their main gas line in anticipation of the city project that is to continue,” Doug Collins, UT’s director of grounds and transportation at UT, said.
Once Columbia Gas has replaced the gas line, phase two construction will begin, he said.
Lane restrictions are expected during the spring and fall semesters, but the contractor is required to maintain one lane in each direction during these times, Huss said.
Not only will the street be repaved, but it will also include island medians, bike lanes, improved crossings, and upgraded signal lights, Huss said.
A new bike path will go along the University Hills apartment complex, connect to Ottawa Park and tie into the new bike lanes on Bancroft, Collins said.
Workers will repave University Hills Boulevard in the summer and are expected to close the Bancroft, University Hills and North Towerview Drive intersection sometime between May 5 to Aug. 21 for reconstruction, Huss said.
The city and UT are trying to reduce the impact on students, but Huss said this may be difficult.
“I have been communicating with UT communications and UT news for updates and any closures,” Collins said.
Third-year mechanical engineering student Matt Wyman said he was late for fall exams and classes due to construction and is not optimistic about the spring construction.
“The road was extremely bumpy, and it took way too long to fix,” he said. “It also made the buses late.”
Gretchen T., a fifth-year political science major, also expressed concern about the university communicating construction updates.
“It makes me nervous to be late because I don’t know when I need to take a different route or use the back roads,” Gretchen said. “They should send construction updates through the text message service [UT Alert].”
Construction updates can be found in UT News press releases and articles on the MyUT homepage and in the University News daily emails.