Glendale College has seen an abundance of ongoing renovations to the campus this past year, including a new parking structure to solve the severe and notorious parking situation.
And if construction on campus is not an inconvenience enough, roadwork will begin mid-June on Mountain Street causing traffic congestion during commute hours.
A recent traffic study conducted by the college resulted in a city requirement that Mountain Street be widened in order to accommodate the motor vehicles that will be entering and exiting the college once the 1,185-space parking structure is erected.
Work on the Mountain Street Widening Improvement Project, located on the south side of the street, began June 4. The roadwork is being conducted by the City of Glendale. Additionally, Glendale Community College has contracted with McCarthy Builders to make improvements on the north side of Mountain Street beginning the week of June 11.
The project will create a right-hand turn lane into the new campus roadway as well as a new retaining wall. There will be a relocation of flashing lights and light poles as well. For the time being, the sidewalk on the north side of Mountain Street will be eliminated as well as the existing entrance to the upper parking lot and child development facility.
Of most concern to the public, however, is the fact that the street will only be two lanes wide during construction, with only one lane for each direction of traffic, causing delays in traffic during peak commute hours.
According to Bill Taylor, director of Business Services on campus and project manager of the Mountain Street Project, traffic control measures will be put in place by contractors; however, there will still be delays. “The work is being done during the summer, however, when there will be less students and less impact.”
The city and college will try to make the impact as minimal as possible, said Campus Police Captain Nidal Kobaissi.
The GCC Police will monitor the traffic and, if necessary, assist in traffic control. “But when completed,” said Kobaissi, “[the street] will accommodate many more cars and in a more efficient manner.”
The city portion of the work on the south side of the street has been contracted to Alliance Streetworks. The estimated cost of the city portion is $1.5 million. The college portion of the work on the north side has been contracted to McCarthy Builders. It is estimated to cost $750 thousand.
The project is expected to end in late August, just before the completion of the new parking structure. It is hoped that the improvements on the street and the access road will to make the commute to school much easier this fall.