By Will Cobb, Rachael Pikulski, Jackie Sanchez and Ashlyn Warblow
While living in West Campus may sound like a lot of fun to newcomers and many UT students, for current residents, West Campus has become a construction zone.
The first appearance of construction in West Campus was along 21st and San Antonio Street. It was the start of what would become years of construction across the West Campus area.
There are now construction sights sprawled out across West Campus from San Gabriel Street to Nueces Street.
This kind of cross-campus construction affects students, businesses, and commutes for both the buses and residents.
The Delta Gamma sorority house resides at 2419 Rio Grande Street right in the middle of current sidewalk and roadwork construction.
Delta Gamma President Hunter Thomson said that the front door of the sorority house is out of commission due to the sidewalk closure along the front of the house.
“We are located right alongside the new construction of Rio. It is inconvenient because girls coming from 25th Street can’t use our front door and girls trying to walk into the West Campus Area,” Thomson said. “We have to go out the side door which is just not a good entry and exit point.”
Director of The University of Texas Parking and Transportation Services, Bobby Stone, receives notice by the construction companies, when and where construction will be taking place on and off campus.
According to Stone, when a new area is set for construction along current bus routes, UT Parking and Transportation works with CapMetro to design new routes while keeping the students safe.
“Safety is the number one concern for us. We want to make sure that the routes buses take, are not going to harm the students,” Stone said.
UT Parking and Transportation also designs new routes for the 40 Acres bus and Mainline Buses. “Finding detours for West Campus buses not only affects the students, but also affects the other buses on campus,” Stone said. “We have a lot of buses using 21st Street.”
While UT Parking and Transportation manage the detours on campus, CapMetro plays a big role in planning specific detours for shuttles, like those in West Campus.
“We get information from campus officials in order to plan shuttle detours,” CapMetro Communications Coordinator Amy Peck said. “This planning is sometimes complex, depending on road closures and construction zones.”
CapMetro regularly works with the UT Parking and Transportation Services on campus.
Once construction and detours are set, the detour information during construction is placed on the CapMetro website.
Stone said the construction in West Campus is estimated to take another few weeks and should be finished by mid-March. Until then, students will have to deal with the noise and the temporary detours.
“I feel like construction where ever it is, is kind of a necessary evil. It is always going to be really, really inconvenient when it is going on, but it definitely needs to happen,” Thomson said.