North Texas Daily

On-campus road construction to begin in December, with potential future projects in summer 2022

On-campus road construction to begin in December, with potential future projects in summer 2022

Construction takes place on I-35. The construction has affected businesses located on Avenue C because the road work has blocked off the street from I-35. Amber Nasser

On-campus road construction to begin in December, with potential future projects in summer 2022
December 03
09:30 2021

The city of Denton will begin reconstruction on North Texas Boulevard following the university’s December commencement ceremonies.

The $5 million project is funded by the 2012 and 2014 city bond programs. The reconstruction will include new curbs and gutters, asphalt roadways and upgraded water and wastewater facilities. Transportation Services Communications Specialist George Stieren said work should start on North Texas Boulevard on Dec. 13.

“It’s a City of Denton project that should focus heavily on infrastructure and resurfacing the road,” Stieren said. “The road will remain open throughout, it’ll just be down to one lane in certain areas.”

Stieren said the construction will be a large project that will continue well beyond the spring semester into early fall 2022. The first phase will include replacement of the water line between Eagle Drive and Highland Street. Future phases of construction will take place between Highland Street and Chestnut Street, then Chestnut and Oak Street.

An administrative announcement made on Dec. 1 stated there will also be closures on Stella Street.

“They are going all the way along North Texas Boulevard, effectively running the perimeter of campus,” Stieren said. “Transportation and UNT partners have had a few calls with the city just trying to minimize impact.”

Stieren said he believes the project could affect a large number of student events considering Apogee Stadium and the Super Pit’s proximity to the construction zone. Updates on the road work can be found here.

The reconstruction is part of the city’s ongoing 2020 Street Reconstruction Bundle Project. The southwest sector of the project initially broke ground on Oct. 8, with work on Welch Street and Chestnut Street. This construction threw some students for a loop, including psychology sophomore Brooklyn Ross.

“I don’t like the road construction in front of the Union,” Ross said. “Denton roads are pretty bad but it’s been taking a while. I know they probably can’t help it, but I think it’s inconvenient.”

Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Daniel Armitage said the university does not have any large projects they are pursuing alongside the street reconstruction, largely due to COVID-19’s effects on the construction industry.

“Right now in the post-COVID time period, we haven’t gone out and worked on a lot of big renovation projects,” Armitage said. “Construction costs and everything have spiked mainly due to labor and COVID’s impacts on the industry.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry increased from 725,800 workers in December 2020 to 749,500 in March of 2021. By July, the total had declined to 724,500 but rebounded to 734,300 in October.

“Basically, you are stuck sitting around waiting on what the situation is going to be,” Armitage said.

Despite this, there are a few projects Armitage said he sees possibly occurring in the summer of 2022. This would include the completion of an Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Art Building, a project that was previously delayed indefinitely in July of 2020. Other potential construction projects comprise of the addition of retail dining on the backside of Eagle Landing, replacing all of the windows in Mozart Hall and taking a look at university infrastructure as a whole.

“The big kick behind it is, do we wait a little longer to see if we’re out of this pandemic and can get some relief on construction prices or not? Armitage said. “Those kinds of things are big, but you also know we have to get these projects moving at some point in time.”

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Alex Corey

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