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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Ross Street construction delayed due to problems

Ever since Erin Weigle came to Texas A&M in the fall of 2001, she has seen the cones on Ross Street but has yet to watch any construction being done.
“I really think they need to hurry up with the construction,” said Weigle, a junior marketing major. “Ross Street is an inconvenience to everyone who uses it.”
Dick Williams, assistant vice president for Physical Plant, said there is a plan for Ross Street, and that funds and other priorities have postponed the street’s rebuilding.
“About six years ago, the cones were placed as a safety precaution to block off a portion of the north side of the street,” Williams said. “We started the planning of what we needed to accomplish in order to permanently fix the street.”
Williams said the reconstruction of Ross Street was initially part of the Main Campus Roads and Drainage project, which began in 2001. The highest priority at the time was to correct the major flooding problems on Bizzell Street and New Main, as requested by the city of College Station, he said.
“We delayed the Ross Street issue because of the present construction of the new Brown Chemical Engineering Building,” Williams said. “We could not close Spence and Ross streets at the same time.”
William said the delays were also caused by the abundance of utility lines that lie beneath Ross Street. A 10-by-10 foot tunnel for water, electrical and telephone lines will have to be built underneath the street to avoid service interruption.
“The hardest part of the project is going to be continuing (utility) service to the buildings along Ross Street,” Williams said. “Another major concern is protecting the surrounding trees.”
Liz Adams, a junior psychology major, said she has almost given up hope that construction will ever start.
“To me, Ross Street symbolizes laziness which in turn reverses productivity,” Adams said. “I don’t think we are promoting a productive environment.”
Megan Fincher, a student bus driver and a sophomore interdisciplinary studies major, has also noticed the problems on Ross Street, but it does not bother her
“It’s not hard to maneuver (the buses),” Fincher said. “It’s usually the other cars and pedestrians that cause the traffic jams, but it’s usually not that bad.”
Fincher said the sooner Physical Plant fixes all the potholes, that the better the driving conditions will be.
“As long as they’re working on it to the best of their ability, that’s fine with me,” Fincher said.
Williams said that once the final design is approved, construction on Ross Street will most likely begin in the spring of 2005. The project will cost about $6 million and take nine months to a year to complete, he said.
“We will do our best to inconvenience the fewest number of students, faculty and staff as possible,” Williams said.

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