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Cascade renovations scheduled for March 2012

November 18, 2011

UW-River Falls is going to be affected greatly by the Cascade Avenue renovation come spring break next semester.

Construction on Cascade Avenue is scheduled to begin in mid-March and continue to mid-November 2012. During this time, Cascade will be closed off from Spruce Street through 6th Street. In reference to campus this project will start at May Hall and end at Rodli Hall. No through traffic or parking will be allowed on Cascade through this time period.

“We’re currently working through final design which will tighten up the proposed construction timeline and staging,” Michael Stifter, director of facilities said. “We also plan to provide a website for campus and community members with project updates. The plan is for the website to go live sometime in December.”

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.

“I’m very happy with our progress to date, especially in terms of the working relationship we’ve built with the City,” said Stifter. “This is, and has been, a project a couple of years in the making and the working relationships only continue to improve. Our goal at the end of all of this is for our pedestrian safety to be greatly enhanced as well as providing a welcoming identity for the campus along the Cascade corridor.”

According to the River Falls Engineering specifications and descriptions page on the River Falls City Hall website, the estimated cost for this project is 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 off street spaces will be 451.

Sections of Cascade plan on being expanded, and parking places are to be included in outlets to keep cars from parking on the street. This way pedestrians will remain safe.

A fence is planned on being placed in the median of the street to help prevent pedestrian accidents. Roundabouts are also planned on being placed in the intersection of Cascade and 6th Street, Cascade and 2nd Street, and Cascade and Wasson Lane.

A few UWRF students react to this project in various ways. “Cascade is always clogged and there isn’t enough parking,” said Janessa Hintz, a junior. “The nearest student commuter parking is kind of far away at Ramer Field.”

“It’s a little annoying because we have to use it since it is right by campus,” said Danielle Lagerstrom, a sophomore. “But if it’s for the best I guess its OK.”

“I think it’s a very large inconvenience but needed to make it easier and safer for students to go from North Hall to the main campus,” said Benjamin Lee, a senior. “Also, I hope that in this project they fix the dent in the road by South Hall.”