If any student has classes or plans to visit the campus during the summer months, they had better avoid Mitchell Avenue.
Construction will begin along Mitchell Avenue shortly after the graduation ceremonies conclude. Every entrance to Missouri Western from Mitchell Avenue will be closed for the entire summer. The Missouri Department of Transportation will be making improvements to the I-29 bridge, again.
While MoDOT will be working their magic on the bridge, another project will be underway just a hop, skip and a jump to the east.
Casey Patton and his colleagues at Bartlett and West Engineers, under contract with American Family Insurance, are constructing plans to widen Mitchell Avenue to three lanes. The construction will close Mitchell Avenue from the main entrance at Downs Drive to the eastern-most entrance at 50th Street.
The only way to access campus will be the entrance at Faraon and McCarthy. A temporary stoplight will be erected until the construction on Mitchell Avenue is completed.
One of the main aspects of the construction plans is to add a turning lane to Mitchell Avenue, widening it to a three-lane road.
A stop light will be added at Southeast College Drive when American Family aligns their main entrance with the campus entrance. Southeast College Drive is the entrance just east of the campusâ€™s main entrance.
The entrances to the campus on Southeast College Drive and Southwest College Drive will also be converted to three-lane roads. Traffic will no longer be able to turn left out of, or onto, Southwest College Drive after the construction is completed. Turning the intersection into a right-turn only intersection is an effort to elude the congestion of cars that backs up Mitchell Avenue at peek driving times.
While the construction to widen Mitchell Avenue will be completed by the beginning of the fall semester, the construction to widen the entrances is not projected to be completed by that time. Bartlett and West Engineers plan to have the entrances completed by December.
Construction will take place on one entrance at a time to ensure that campus is accessible from Mitchell Avenue.
â€œIt will be a little bit of an inconvenience, but it will be accessible,â€ Patton said.
The construction will also include adding curbs, gutters and sidewalks to the north side of Mitchell Avenue.
Missouri Western will have to relocate the large â€œMissouri Western State Universityâ€ sign with the Griffon perched on top of it at the main entrance. The sign is in line with the construction plans. Officials at the Board of Governors meeting discussed keeping the sign in the same relative location, just moving it north along Downs Drive. Ultimately, they did not come to a conclusion and the sign could end up anywhere on campus.