More uneven USF sidewalks to be repaired

The yellow paint on the sidewalk right outside Crescent Hill Garage means it is unleveled and will be repaired. ORACLE PHOTO/ JUSTIN SEECHARAN

You might have noticed some uneven sidewalks in housing areas were repaired last year, while others around campus were painted yellow this January. 

These initiatives were part of separate projects from USF Housing and the Office of Administrative Services. Both projects are still in the development phase but are planned to be completed this year.

Though the new project is in the works, USF Housing started improvements on the sidewalks last fall. 

Housing sent a university-wide email on Sept. 20 informing students that a contractor would be on site for a week to repair uneven sidewalks near Castor Hall and the crosswalk near Argos Exchange. 

However, the repairs were not completed until Oct. 20, according to Andy Johnson, housing director for operations and outreach.

Johnson said the new project plan is being developed to identify and fix other sidewalks in the housing area that may need repair. Assessment will start within the next couple of weeks with budget identification and a repair schedule to follow, he said.

“Uneven sidewalks pose a significant risk to all students regardless of their mode of transportation,” Johnson said. 

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USF spokesperson Aaron Nichols said the grounds team, which is part of the Office of Administrative Services, maintains all 30 miles of sidewalk outside of the housing areas. They will be responsible for the second project tackling uneven sidewalks. 

Grounds conducted a complete assessment of the sidewalks in January, marking areas to be repaired with orange and yellow paint, Nichols said. 

Nichols said a contractor is working on a quote to make the sidewalk repairs. The bulk of this work will be performed over summer break so pedestrian traffic is not impeded by the efforts.

Paulina Gorodesky, a sophomore biomedical major, said other uneven sidewalks still need to be fixed because they contribute to accidents for those trying to get around USF.

“There’s definitely still a lot of bumpy sidewalks,” Gorodesky said. “The black sidewalk on the left side of BurgerFi, for example, is awful to scooter on.”

Sophomore Vitor Sousa, a finance major, said he lives off-campus and owns a scooter. He said he always pays attention to sidewalks because, even though he has never fallen before, his friends have been in accidents at least three times.

 The yellow paint’s objective is to mark areas to be repaired, but Sousa said the color is helpful because students can identify when they are approaching a dangerous bump.

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Facilities work orders can be submitted for repairs on the Facilities Services website. Any significant hazards identified are corrected by the in-house masonry technician on the same day or shortly thereafter, Nichols said.

Even though the complete assessment of the sidewalks is only performed once a year, Nichols said grounds is always on the lookout for “tripping hazards.” 

Gorodeskyv said fixing the remaining uneven sidewalks will be a nice touch to improve students’ safety on campus.

“I realize sometimes the accidents can be our fault for going too fast, but repairing some of the awful sidewalks will be helpful to stop people from falling,” Gorodeskyv said.