Connective Corridor construction transforms face of University Avenue
Prepare to have patience if you’re grabbing that morning cup of coffee on Marshall Street. A five-block span of University Avenue, from Waverly Street to East Genesee Street, is under heavy construction as the Connective Corridor construction project gets underway. University Avenue, from Waverly Avenue to East Adams Street, is closed to vehicular traffic.
A cavalcade of backhoes, track hoes, loaders and tractors began lining up along University Avenue in mid-June as the project officially kicked off construction of the Connective Corridor. The Corridor will eventually curve along West Fayette Street near Armory Square. Free bus service, operated and maintained by Centro through a partnership with the University, is already provided along the route. The buses, which link the SU campus with downtown Syracuse, are free to everyone.
The transformation currently underway will reflect a contemporary style, vibrant colors, parks, entertainment venues and new lighting. The changes will serve as a welcome mat between the University area and downtown Syracuse.
“The goal is to activate our public spaces in Syracuse with visitors, music, street theater and commerce,” says Marilyn Higgins, SU vice president for community engagement and economic development. “The style is contemporary and colorful. With more people using, congregating and playing in the public realm, we’ll have a safer, more vibrant city.”
The following changes are in place:
- Starting Thursday, June 30, business-oriented signage posted along the construction route directs pedestrians to alternate entrances for Marshall Square Mall, Huntington Hall and the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center;
- Starting Friday, July 1, the relocation of a water main may affect water pressure in Marshall Square Mall and at University College. Questions or concerns can be directed to Cory McCarthy, Department of Water, 530-2685;
- A temporary pedestrian walkway from Adams Street to Waverly Avenue is located on the east side, instead of the west side;
- Pedestrians are asked to avoid cordoned-off construction zones to protect their safety.
While the temporary upheaval is a minor inconvenience, the payoff will be significant. “This will attract more companies and residential development to the urban core,” says Higgins. “The Connective Corridor will serve as a signature strip of leading-edge urban redevelopment and will not only connect the University to the arts and cultural venues downtown, it will also invigorate the businesses and neighborhoods along the route.”
The University Avenue construction will be substantially completed before students return in late August and will be entirely completed in spring of 2012.