24th Ave. expected to reopen to traffic later this month


Eva Pace

Despite original plans to reopen 24th Avenue by Branscomb, construction plans have changed and cars will not have access to the road until later in February.

Current construction has closed Vanderbilt Pl. between Branscomb and Rand, as well as part of 24th Ave. near its intersection with Vanderbilt Pl. According to project manager Bob Grummon, there have not been major issues with construction for the new residential colleges on West End and 24th Avenue by Branscomb. Residential College A is still on-schedule to be ready for students in fall of 2020, despite the delay in reopening the avenue. Initially, the road was supposed to reopen at the beginning of the semester.

Multiple times a week, the construction team pours concrete onto various work site locations around campus. In the next week or two, the team will be preparing to pour portions of the third and fourth floors of Residential College A, Grummon said.

24th Ave. has been closed on account of this construction since October, and it was originally projected to reopen in late December of this past year. Nonetheless, because utilities need to be extended onto the site, Grummon reported that the road will reopen to traffic in mid February.

Some students who have to traverse the area frequently to reach the buildings on this side of campus, such as Greek organizations’ houses or Grins Vegetarian Cafe,  are eager to see the roads reopened due to the inconvenience they cause.

“It’s annoying and it makes getting around that area difficult,” freshman Evan Bouck said. “It’s also loud and unsightly.”

Noise complaints have been a primary concern since construction began. In a Vanderbilt Student Government meeting in December, students aired their grievances regarding early-morning noise and disruptions in particular. Contractors are being as conscientious as possible in response to this, investigating many options for noise mitigation and implementing those found to be effective, Grummon said. This means using sound deadening blankets during concrete pours, Grummon said.

Similarly, Grummon said that the contractors have restricted the types of equipment that can be used during early-morning construction in order to limit the noise.

Students, however, do not appear to have noticed the attempts to try to decrease sound level. Sophomore Emma Pinto lives in Branscomb, one of the residential houses closest to the site of construction.

“The noise wakes me up most mornings at seven,” Pinto said. “I can’t even really do work in my room because of how distracting the jackhammers are all day.”