Blacksburg College Avenue work delayed two days
Crews won’t start tearing up Blacksburg’s College Avenue until Thursday, two days later than planned, the town’s engineering director said today.
Work was going to start today on the decade-in-the-planning effort to improve the border between Virginia Tech’s campus and the town’s oldest section. But signs to signal the new traffic pattern — one lane will be closed between Otey Street and the Top of the Stairs restaurant during the first phase of the work — were not ready, engineering chief Adele Schirmer said.
Signs should be ready by Thursday and machinery and workers will move to the street then, she said.
In the meantime, though, behind-the-scenes work such as submittal of drawings and ordering of materials is progressing, Schirmer said.
“Thus, although you are not seeing signs of construction on College Avenue, much has happened and the project is on track with schedule,” Schirmer wrote in an email.
The first phase of the project, from Otey Street to Top of the Stairs, is to be completed around the end of Tech’s home football season in November. A second phase will re-do the street from Top of the Stairs to Main Street and is to finish by July 15, 2013, before the town’s annual Steppin’ Out festival.
Contracted at $3.5 million, the project is to turn College Avenue into a one-way street carrying traffic away from Main Street. It will have 28-foot-wide sidewalks on the town side to accommodate vastly expanded outdoor dining possibilities, and the wrought-iron fence on the university side will be replaced with a Hokie stone wall that can double as a bench. The entire revamped street is designed to be closed in sections and transform into a pedestrian plaza for festivals and other events.