Page 4 - Marist Magazine Winter 2011-2012

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M A R I S T M A G A Z I N E
O
ct. 19, 2011, will be remembered by
the Marist College community and
New York State Department of Transportation
(NYSDOT) for the dedication marking the
successful completion of an underpass
beneath Route 9. The project has created an
easier and safer passage for students living
across campus, improved the aesthetic of
Route 9, and enhanced traffic flow.
Nearly 100 people attended the ribbon
cutting including several from local media
outlets. All listened to the thanks given by
Marist President Dennis J. Murray to NYSDOT
and contractors Schultz Construction for their
hard work in accomplishing what Murray
called “the most remarkable project” that he
has ever seen.
“I really consider this a great public space,”
said Murray. “Seeing the way this underpass
has connected our two campuses and really
made it one, and the interaction that students
are having around this space, certainly fulfills
that criteria.”
Students living in the Fulton and West
Cedar townhouses take advantage of the
underpass on a daily basis, getting to class
quicker and immediately turning the walkway
into a social meeting place.
Marist students living in other areas
g r e a t l y app r e c i a t e t h e
construction of the underpass
as well. “The new underpass
has great ly improved my
commute to campus,” says
Michael Johnson ’13. “In the
past, whenever I’d have to walk
from campus to Beck, I was
always aware I was ‘ leaving’
campus.”
The primary reason for
constructing the underpass,
according to Director of Physical
Plant Justin Butwell, was that
there are approximately 1,000
students who live on the east
side of Route 9. Crossing the
busy street became a safety hazard for students
and slowed the traffic, he says. “After many
years of planning, we went through a series
of design meetings and concluded that the
underpass was the best solution based on the
location of the sidewalk on the east side and
Walkway Under Route 9 Makes Passage Safer for Students, Faster for Vehicles
the topography of the land.”
In addition to constructing the underpass,
NYSDOT changed the traffic configuration
at the intersection of Route
9, Fulton Street, and Marist’s
main gate to improve safety.
NYSDOT also adjusted travel
lanes on Route 9 to limit access
at the main gate to service,
del iver y, and emergency
vehicles. Meanwhile, with the
underpass now available to
walkers, a mid-block crosswalk
was removed and the south gate
was widened and enhanced to
encourage its use by all vehicles
rather than the main gate.
Butwell says the NYSDOT
project cost approximately
$6 million. Marist installed
lighting and provided landscaping at an
additional cost of approximately $4 million.
NYSDOT constructed the underpass in
seven days, completing it on July 14, four days
ahead of schedule.
n
—Myles Williams ’13
VICTOR VAN CARPELS
The New York State Department of Transportation constructed a walkway under Route 9 this past July.
“After many years of
planning, we went
through a series of
design meetings and
concluded that the
underpass was the
best solution based
on the location of the
sidewalk on the east
side and the topogra-
phy of the land.”
—Justin Butwell,
Physical Plant Director