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Leroy Collins under construction

Though the construction on Leroy Collins Boulevard may currently cause delays, students can expect faster and safer travel through the area when it is completed.

“The Leroy Collins work includes new pedestrian crosswalks, the relocation of campus shuttle stops that include bus pull-offs so they don’t block traffic, sidewalks, landscaping, two water features using renewable condensate discharge water from the Library, as well as additional flags and banners,” Ray Gonzalez, assistant director of project management for Facilities Planning and Construction, said in an email. “All this work will add color, vibrancy and drama to the campus-arrival experience.”

The construction, which is scheduled to be completed in August before the start of the fall semester, also addresses safety concerns by limiting the amount of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the crosswalk between the Physics building and the Library.

When completed, there will be two additional “vehicular road cuts” installed in the existing median, Gonzalez said.

“The one closest to Alumni Drive will allow vehicles parked in the south Library lots to exit out towards Alumni Drive without having to exit north toward the Administration Building and across the crosswalk,” he said. “The second vehicular cut will be just south of the crosswalk and will allow the campus shuttle busses and other traffic to turn back out to Alumni Drive without having to cut through the crosswalk first.”

Though the exact cost has not yet been finalized, Gonzalez said the University will invest “several million dollars” toward the project from “University accounts.” That money will not only go toward the improvements on Leroy Collins Boulevard, but also to installing “USF monument signs” around campus, planting additional trees and enhancing Palm Drive.

Gonzalez said the University chose to begin the projects during the summer to minimize the impact of lane closures and pedestrian rerouting in the areas.

Parking and Transportation Services Director Manuel Lopez could not be reached for comment.

— Staff Report