Construction and more construction

Brianna Stapleton

Due to construction on the Lawe Street bridge, students have been able to safely cross the traffic-free street. (Brent Schwert)

Construction is a frequent activity on Appleton streets that annoys many motorists, but students have been appreciating the continuing construction on the Lawe Street Bridge.
The construction has closed the secion of Lawe Street south of College, between Raymond House and the Wriston turnaround. It is projected to end April 24, after which point the street will be reopened to traffic.
Mark Kilheffer from the Appleton Department of Public Works said the construction is to replace a water main. The old water main was completely removed and a new one installed and hung from the bridge.
“There are more construction projects planned for the summer,” said Kilheffer. “We will be reconstructing pavement on Lawe Street from the intersection where it joins College Avenue down to the bridge.”
Repaving will begin after students leave in June and should be completed by August. The same detour that exists now will be effective during the summer construction project.
If you plan to live on campus this summer you won’t have much to worry about. Though Lawe Street will once again be closed, there will be an area for pedestrians to cross. “There will, however, be lots of construction equipment in the area,” Kilheffer remarked.
Many Lawrence students enjoy the break from dodging cars while on their way to class. Junior Michelle Barthel said, “It is easier crossing the street, especially since I don’t have to worry about some car coming up that hill that I might not have seen.”
Freshman Claire Burke has enjoyed the freedom that the construction allows her for running. Lawe Street has become a quieter area in which to run without the concern of oncoming traffic.
A few student motorists have encountered some complications.
Caitlin White has her car on campus, but doesn’t mind the construction. “The fact that the turnaround is no longer accessible, I know, has created some complications for trips,” said the freshman.
“As a motorist, it is sometimes a hassle as I expect to be able to turn right onto Lawe off of College and am surprised every time when I realize I can’t,” she continued. “The detour is not all that troublesome or out of the way though.”
Another concern expressed was that traffic on Lawe would increase after construction is finished.
“I don’t want another main street running through and dividing campus, … la College Ave. It will just be more of a hassle to get across campus then,” said Casey Sautter. The freshman lives in Trever and often has to cross Lawe Street on her way to and from classes.
City representatives said that traffic flow should remain the same as it was before construction began.
Dean of Students Nancy Truesdell said she has not noticed a drop in traffic near Raymond House, because delivery trucks still use Alton Street and drive around the barricades.
“It is nice, however, not to have the safety concern of traffic coming up Lawe Street while students are trying to cross in the crosswalk over to Wriston and the library,” Truesdell said. “That is one of the reasons I am anxious to see the development and construction of a land bridge where the Lawe Street footbridge is now. I think that will increase student safety and offer a much more aesthetically pleasing path for pedestrians.

Due to construction on the Lawe Street bridge, students have been able to safely cross the traffic-free street.

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