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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Troubled Bridge Over Union Demolished

    Due to years of deterioration and hazardous conditions, the administrationat Stony Brook University ordered for the demolition of the bridge, which connectedthe Student Union to the Melville Library.

    ‘Over the years we’#146;ve had to make many repairs to keep it from fallingapart,’ said Lou Rispoli, who heads the Facilities Design and Constructiondepartment at SBU, about the bridge. ‘In the past they must’#146;ve useda lot of salt on top, which corroded the concrete from the inside.’

    Facilities Design & Construction is located in Suffolk Hall on South Campusand is composed of a design team, which includes architects, a civil engineer,construction managers, estimators, construction inspectors, contract administrators,designers, drafters and support personnel.

    Their work involves coordinating capital project requests, design and construction,development and revision of the campus Master Plan, oversight of projects toensure conformance with bid documents and design drawings, and to ensure workis completed in compliance with SUNY and SBU regulations and standards.

    The project to remove the bridge began on May 23, and is deemed to be the solutionthat Michael Klein, manager of Parking and Transportation department, feelsis a positive step towards revitalizing the campus.

    ‘Opening up the area is very beneficial,’ Klein said. ‘The structureclosed things in. Now that it’#146;s opened up, it should be more inviting.’

    The bridge has had severe problems in recent years, according to Rispoli, whostated debris would sometimes fall from the structure.

    ‘There were some incidents in front of the Union where chunks of concretewere falling down,’ Rispoli said. ‘Since I’#146;ve been here, we’#146;vedone three repairs underneath the bridge.’

    After the administration approved the project, Rispoli and his team went throughthe traditional process of putting out a bid for a contractor.

    ‘A plan was created by our architects and engineers, then we put a bidout, and the contractor was determined in April,’ Rispoli said. ‘Theoutside contractors came in and we’#146;ve overseen them.’

    Klein said he believes the destruction of the bridge will have little effecton traffic in the area.

    ‘There will be very small impact in terms of parking and transportation,as the area is only slightly used,’ Klein said.

    Due to the construction, Center Drive was closed. This move meant reroutingtraffic, particularly buses, on campus. The summer bus schedule has been madeand stops at SB Union and in front of the Indoor Sports Complex will be inaccessibleduring the construction.

    Temporary bus stops are currently put in place until the road reopens and allloading docks have been accessible for local deliveries.

    Pedestrian traffic is being rerouted around the construction site.

    The demolition is part one of a two-part project to renovate the surroundingarea of the Student Union, according to Klein. The parking lot near the Stadiumis also being redone in order to add more spaces for commuter students.

    ‘We’#146;ll be renovating the Stadium student parking area, which willbenefit commuter students,’ Klein said. ‘We’#146;re integrating academicneeds along with athletics on campus.’

    The Facilities Design and Construction website states, ‘In order to increaseparking capacity the northern most section of the lot will be renovated. Includedin this project are the parking areas south, west and north of the Infirmary.The parking lot construction will begin on May 20th and has an anticipated completiondate of August 15, 2002.’

    Now that the bridge is gone, concerns as to whether it will be more difficultfor handicapped students to get around were addressed, Klein said, adding thathe believes accessibility will not be an issue.

    ‘We worked closely with Student Disability Services,’ Klein said.’We’#146;ve looked at ways to improve the crossing, and I don’#146;t seeit as a problem.’

    Rispoli added that improvements are going to occur during the summer.

    ‘We’#146;ll be dropping the curb so [handicapped] students can go fromone side to the other,’ Rispoli said of the crosswalk improvements.

    ‘We’#146;re also repairing all the paths that lead to the Staller Centerand Library.’

    No injuries were reported during the demolition, and the area is expected tobe reopened the week of June 23, according to Rispoli.

    ‘We were originally scheduled for six weeks of work, but we’#146;re oneweek ahead,’ Rispoli said of the demolition. ‘It went very well.’

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