UW-River Falls is going to be affected greatly by the Cascade Avenue renovation come spring break next semester.
Contracting for the Cascade Avenue project is scheduled to begin in the middle of February. During this time a final estimate of how much things are going to cost will be available. New lighting is also already planned to be used that will improve safety for pedestrians at night.
“The city will be putting in LED street lighting,” said Michael Sifter, director of facilities, “we’ll be adding some additional path lighting around North Hall, South Hall and Q lot.”
The new Cascade Avenue will act as an entrance way to the University with two clean and welcoming roundabouts placed in the intersection of Cascade and Sixth Street, Cascade and Second Street and Cascade and Wasson Lane.
“The roundabouts will be very prominent and there will be some very good, high quality lighting,” said Stifter.
With the placement of these roundabouts a slowly affect will be caused that will make it safer for students and community members to cross the street. Parking will also be taken off Cascade Avenue which will also improve safety with less obstructions and people on the actual road while exiting their vehicles.
“With this new design, taking the parking off the street and improved lights I think this will be a much safer setup,” said Joseph McIntosh, ground maintenance supervisor.
There have been some rumors circulating of a tunnel being placed between North Hall and South Hall, however these are all false.
“There had been talk at one time of a tunnel or a possible overhead walk way at the early stages of the design,” said Stifter, “but over the last couple years it has been dropped from the table.”
Throughout the construction process and final stages of planning beginning in February, frequent updates will be placed on a website that will be released in January. This website will have archived versions of all the previous plans as well as what stages the project is at and maps of alternative parking.
Some final work may take place during the spring of 2013 which will include signs, crossing work and spring plantings.
Reconstruction of the Q parking lot is also scheduled to take place during part of this time. As of right now the parking lot construction will begin mid-May and continue to mid-August.
According to the River Falls engineering specifications and descriptions page on the River Falls City Hall website, this project’s estimated cost will over $8 million. The website also states that approximately 232 cars park in on street spots or on Cascade Avenue while 221 cars park in off-street spots coming to a total of 453. An after the project estimation states the number of on street spots will be reduced to 42 while offstreet spaces will be 451. Sections of Cascade plan on being expanded wider and parking places are to be included in outlets to keep cars from parking on the street which is another way pedestrians will remain safe.