When students return to Missouri Western for the fall semester, they will notice the smooth drive around campus while searching for that coveted parking spot. Lee Grover Construction has been replacing large portions of concrete on Downs Drive and other locations on campus.
Traffic was seldom completely cut off during the repairs this summer. Drivers during the summer construction were often required to use only one lane while the lane next to it was being reconstructed. Director of Facilities Lonnie Johnson supervised the work and reports that all of the work was completed to specifications and on time. Drivers did experience the inconvenience of having to share a lane with oncoming traffic.
“Most issues for this type work are simply traffic control issues,” Johnson said. “We had one car drive through some cones and into the wet concrete.”
This type of construction, which leads to traffic control problems, can be seen on public streets and even bridges as repairs are made. Sometimes there are a couple of flagmen to assist drivers and increase safety. However, during the repairs on campus, there weren’t any flagmen used but there was only the one incident reported.
Ron Moutray of Grover Construction organized the reconstruction of the pavement.
“We only completely close the road to through traffic during the actual pouring of the concrete,” Moutray said. “Flagmen aren’t required when you are using one lane of traffic, and drivers can clearly see each other to take turns using the lane.”
The reconstruction didn’t hamper the Chief’s training camp. Most areas in main traffic ways were complete for the Chiefs except for the seeding of the grass along the sides of the reconstruction sites. Johnson says that the seeding will be completed in September.
As expressed by former Vice President of Financial Planning and Administration Mel Klinkner, Western’s budget has strained with diminished funding from the state during recent years. At the same time, costs of operation have been soaring. These factors were especially apparent with Western’s maintenance reconstruction.
“It’s been around five years since we did any concrete replacement around Downs Drive,” Johnson said. “We have done some asphalt work in various areas.”
Total repairs to the streets on campus are expected to be around $155,000 this year, and most of those repairs have been finished using concrete.
“Concrete is a longer wearing material with less maintenance,” Moutray said. “Concrete is getting higher but asphalt gets higher with the cost increases of petroleum. Many institutions go with the material that cost less and gives desired wear longevity.”
For a driving tour of the improvements visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi8SpIN-d_g. This gives you a fun driving tour of Downs Drive soon after the repairs were complete.