Extension brings 10-minute campus in reach


By Rachel Scaman

An extended Lucinda Avenue opened to cars, buses, bikers and pedestrians Wednesday after a year-long $4.5 million construction.

The road now extends 1,495 feet through where Douglas Hall once stood, said Alan Phillips, vice president of Administration and Finance. The extension project began with the November 2014 deconstruction of Douglas Hall. The demolition was completed on May 15, and road construction began shortly after.

About 40 people were in attendance during the grand opening ceremony in the lobby of Stevenson Hall. After a short press conference, people were invited to be the first group to ride down Lucinda in a HuskieLine bus.

“The interesting thing I found was that 96.2 percent of the demolition from Douglas was actually used in the road project,” Phillips said. “So we were able to recycle almost all of the material from the building, and it was in fact crushed and used to fill the base of the new road.”

There are 12 new 94 W energy efficient LED street lights on the road, which replaced 25 existing 210 W fixtures. The new fixtures reduce energy usage by half, Phillips said.

This is the first time in more than 50 years that NIU has a direct path to the far West edge of campus, said NIU spokesman Brad Hoey.

“This was maybe not even campus 50 plus years ago so we’re really blazing new territory today with the opening of the Lucinda Avenue extension,” Hoey said.

People have said getting from one part of campus to the other is difficult, and it made a lot of sense to demolish Douglas and extend Lucinda Avenue for easy movement up and down, said NIU President Doug Baker.

“A lot of ideas came up, but this road continued to be one that people talked about,” Baker said.

The Student Association may soon test a modified HuskieLine bus route that may be added to the Lucinda Avenue extension as part of the Barsema Express, according to a Wednesday Northern Star article.