NIU forced to close part of Stadium Drive

By Rob Heselbarth

The hazards of construction on campus have forced NIU to close part of Stadium Drive.

The section of Stadium Drive being closed is from Annie Glidden Road and University Circle, between Graham Hall and the Chick Evans Field House.

The closing is a result of the relocation of communication and utility lines which stretch from the Public Safety and Telecommunication Building to just west of Annie Glidden Road.

The relocating of the lines is being done in preparation for the Lucinda Avenue renovation project which is set to begin next May.

The estimated budget for the relocation of the communication and utility lines is $3 million.

Patricia Perkins, assistant to the vice president of Finance and Planning, said the relocation process is going as planned and no additional costs have been added.

Perkins said the main reason for the closing of Stadium Drive is for safety reasons.

“The plans called for the (communication line) trench to go across the road eventually,” she said. “It got too dangerous, so we thought we might as well close it now for safety.”

She said the road will be closed to all vehicles but open to pedestrians.

Perkins said the most direct access routes to Graham Hall and the fieldhouse will not always be open, but access to the buildings still will be available.

The length of the project will depend on the weather and how well it cooperates, she said.

“The closing will last at least one week and might last as much as two weeks,” she said. “It may even last longer than that if the weather is really bad.”