Construction Projects Ramp Up During Summer Months

Posted: May 22, 2013 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: May 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm

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By Catherine Probst

An image of the new Taylor Hall residence.

An image of the new Taylor Hall student residence.

At the City of Fairfax University/Community Forum last week, Tom Calhoun, vice president of Facilities, updated members of the community on some of the current and upcoming construction projects on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus.

First up on the agenda was an update on the improvements to Roanoke River Road and Braddock Road. This project, which began in July 2012, is on target to be completed by the end of the month, Calhoun said. Final touches, including paving and reconfiguring the traffic signals, are currently being made.

At its completion, this project will have succeeded in

  • doubling the length of the left turn lane for east-bound Braddock Road into Roanoke River Road onto campus;
  • widening Roanoke River Road on campus to have three lanes outbound, a median and two lanes into campus, with a dedicated left turn lane into Lot K and a dedicated right turn lane onto Po River Lane by the Patriot Center as the road heads toward Lots L and A; and
  • synchronizing the traffic signal at Roanoke River Road and Braddock Road so that left turns out of campus and University Mall can be made simultaneously, improving traffic flow on Braddock Road.
The expanded Ike's dining facility.

The expanded Ike’s Diner, which will become a 24-hour dining facility.

The West Campus Connector/Campus Drive project, which began last summer, has affected nearly everyone in the community in terms of traffic and congestion, Calhoun noted. Well under way, work is currently concentrated on Ox Road/Route 123, where the four traffic lanes have been shifted. According to Calhoun, the goal is to have the connector road, Campus Drive, open by end of the year, as well as the entrance of Prestwick Drive.

Campus Drive will go through the west campus and connect across to the east campus. The road will tie into the east campus at Patriot Circle at two separate points — by the Mason Inn Hotel and Conference Center and just north of the Recreation and Athletic Complex. (See map.)

Once the project is completed, it could ease traffic congestion near the intersection of Ox Road/Route 123 and Braddock Road. The project will also improve the campus’ overall parking infrastructure by providing much easier and safer access to the west campus.

An image of the expanded Fenwick Library.

An image of the expanded Fenwick Library.

A new project that is expected to begin this summer is Taylor Hall, a Shenandoah Housing project in Presidents Park that will eventually house approximately 295 freshmen. Taylor Hall will be built along the edge of parking Lot R near Roberts Road. At the same time, an expansion of Eisenhower Hall will transform Ike’s Diner into a new 24-hour dining facility. The project is on schedule to be completed in June 2014.

The final project discussed at the forum was the status of the addition to Fenwick Library, which is scheduled to be completed in May 2015. Adding approximately 150,000 square feet of space to the existing library, Calhoun noted that the expansion will help create a collaborative environment for research activities at the university. Nearly 1,800 study spaces will be added to help support both residential and commuter students. When the project is completed, it is expected that a portion of the library will be open 24 hours.

More information about these construction projects and other upcoming projects can be found on the Building Patriot Pride website.

Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at ckearney@gmu.edu

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