Construction projects delayed

By Caryn Rosenberg

Project delays are causing a domino effect in unfinished construction projects at NIU as the walls on Normal Road remain incomplete.

James Bryant, interim director of Architectural and Engineering Services, said the original plan was to put up walls on both the east and west sides of Normal Road.

The wall on the west side of the street was finished late last summer, but the completion of the east side wall remains on hold. The walls are intended to stop pedestrians from crossing the street in other places than the actual crosswalks.

University Landscape Architect James Murphy said this is because of a delay in the corridor project, which will link Normal Road and the Wirtz Quadrangle.

Patricia Perkins, assistant to the vice president for Finance and Planning, said the corridor project is behind schedule because of problems with the reconstruction of Lucinda Avenue.

Perkins said workers have to shift telecommunication lines and consider other unexpected elements on Lucinda Avenue, causing further delays.

In addition, the corridor project ultimately will require a change in grading on the east side, which could interfere with the area on Normal Road where the wall will be built.

Murphy said the completion of the east side walls will be held off until the corridor project is finished.

“Originally, the limestone walls (on Normal Road) were included to match those used in the corridor project,” Murphy said. “We want to make sure that all of these projects are in conjunction with each other so we can get everything coordinated.”

The walls were put up for two reasons, Bryant said.

“The first reason is to clean up the (King Memorial Commons) area,” Bryant said. “The second reason is to try to focus the pedestrian traffic so they would be crossing at the marked crosswalk.”

Even though the project is only half finished, Murphy said there already are more pedestrians crossing at the crosswalk.