Corey Stone/University Relations Image

The third phase of utility tunnel repairs will address a section near Robinson Health and Physical Education Center. The above graphic shows the area that will be enclosed by a fence, and a stairway near Sunnyside Avenue. that will be closed.

Third phase of tunnel repairs to be centered near Robinson, Watkins

Work will not close streets, reduce parking

The third and final phase of utility tunnel repairs will begin soon and cause significantly fewer disruptions to the campus community than previous summersí projects.

Work is slated to begin on phase three of the utility tunnel project later this month or in early April. The project will waterproof a section of tunnel beginning near Robinson Health and Physical Education Center and Watkins Memorial Health Center, extending north to Sunnyside Avenue. Work is slated to be complete by Aug. 13.

Unlike earlier tunnel repairs, there will be no street closures and no elimination of campus parking spaces. The most significant factor the campus community will notice is a security fence near the work area. Contractors will construct a fence east of Robinson. It will take up approximately the western one-third of the athletic field near Robinson and Watkins. A stairway that connects to a sidewalk on Sunnyside Avenue. will be closed during the work. The street will not be closed.

Work crews will construct a temporary access road from Illinois Street, passing to the west behind the Computer Center, ending at the work site. Parking lot 34 and Illinois Street will remain open throughout the course of the work. No campus bus routes will be altered in response to the project, and minimal utility outages are expected.

Some entrances on the west side of Watkins will be closed intermittently during the project, but emergency exits will be maintained at all times.

The work is the final phase to repair the most seriously deteriorated sections of campus utility tunnels, KUís top deferred maintenance priority. The tunnels carry steam from the power plant to campus buildings and house electrical cables and data services. Many of the tunnels were constructed around 1900. The repairs are addressing sections that are badly deteriorated and pose safety problems for employees who work in them and threaten the reliability of utilities routed through them.

Campus closeup
Amanda Schwegler, assistant director, Center for Service Learning
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