Work on South College Drive starts Oct. 24; Will continue through March

Starting on Monday, Oct. 24, crews will begin work to reconstruct South College Drive and add new parking capacity. During construction, South College Drive will be closed to most traffic, except for northbound access to Harrington Field and parking lots 12G and 18R. 

Construction on South College Drive is expected to continue through March 2023, depending on weather conditions. 

The project 

The addition of parking capacity onto South College Drive is in preparation for the upcoming construction of Kaiser Borsari Hall, Western’s new electrical engineering and computer science building, which will begin in March 2023 and will be built on parking lot 17G behind the Communications Facility. 

South College Drive will be converted from a two-lane road divided by a median into a conventional two-lane road with angled parking. This will provide 131 new spaces to accommodate parking needs on campus when lot 17G is closed. An additional 43 spaces have already been added in lot 31V.  

The new parking capacity is designed to support future projects on campus, along with the long-term goal of transferring parking to the periphery of campus to preserve the core for academic and student services use. 

Traffic changes 

  • Most traffic that currently uses South College Drive will be re-routed to Bill McDonald Parkway on the West side of parking lot C, but one northbound lane will remain open on South College Drive to allow access to Harrington Field and parking lots 12G and 18R.  

  • Lot C will be accessible only from Bill McDonald Parkway, and there will be no southbound traffic on South College Drive.  

  • The South College Drive sidewalks need to be closed for the safety of pedestrians for the duration of the project. While the contractor had hoped to keep the sidewalks open, safety is always the first consideration. Additional on-site signage and the updated construction map will highlight alternative pedestrian routes: Bill McDonald Parkway; 25th Street to the access road and paths through Fairhaven College; take the bus to your destination and remember that your Western card is also a bus pass.

  • Cyclists may use Bill McDonald Parkway or the access road behind Fairhaven.  

  • Signage and flaggers will direct traffic around the construction zone, which will be fenced for safety. 

Download maps of the traffic changes and future South College Drive layout via the attached documents at the bottom of this story.. 

Construction impacts 

Hours of construction will generally be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., depending on weather and conditions, but some exceptions may occur if needed with advance permission from the university. Notifications will be sent to the university community ahead of any variation in schedule.  

Noise and fumes will be typical of road construction, with restrictions on noise levels of equipment. 

While efforts were made to mitigate tree loss, 15 mature trees will need to be removed for the project. In keeping with Western’s policy, all displaced trees will be replaced with new trees planted in grassy areas near the project.