Parking Deck Construction Moves into High Gear

Posted: July 10, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dave Andrews

As the enormous hole on the north side of the Fairfax Campus continues to grow, so too does the amount of curiosity surrounding the construction project.

The hole will become Parking Deck III — a multilevel structure that will more than double the number of parking spaces previously available in that part of campus. The deck is on schedule to handle nearly 2,700 automobiles by the beginning of the fall 2009 semester and will provide general parking for students and visitors, as well as reserved levels for faculty, staff and students.

Artist's drawing of Parking Deck III
The new parking deck will have space for nearly 2,700 vehicles.

“Once the deck is completed, we’ll be able to accommodate an even greater number of vehicles and, at the same time, see much improved traffic flow, especially before and after large events on campus,” says Josh Cantor, director of parking and transportation.

A total of five entrance/exit locations were designed specifically to ease traffic congestion. Two access points will be along the north side of the deck, and three will be along the south side.

Building Patiot Pride logo

Those who have watched the construction site can tell that significant progress has been made in just the last few weeks. Preparations have been made for the delivery of more than 1,500 precast concrete pieces, which will arrive by tractor trailer beginning Monday, July 21.

On a daily basis, 10 to 20 90-foot trailers will haul the concrete pieces into campus from Winchester, Va., where they are produced. The trailers will enter campus via University Drive by way of Route 123. The delivery of the concrete pieces will continue through January 2009.

Mason has made a major effort to minimize the impact on normal roadway traffic during the project. The trailers will have a separate entrance to the site off of the spur road, and construction vehicles won’t be parked on any main campus roads.

The project also includes the construction of a two-story building that will be the new home of the Public Safety Office. Approximately 16,000 square feet will house both University Police headquarters and the Safety Office.

Map showing location of Parking Deck III
This map shows the location of Parking Deck III on the Fairfax Campus.

The spur road that was built earlier this year as an alternate route around the construction zone will stay in place even after the parking deck is complete. The portion of Patriot Circle between the new deck and the rest of campus will reopen, but it is expected to be used only in a limited capacity. Plans for pedestrian routes and walkways are still in development.

“The entire process should be rather painless,” Cantor says. “Though much of the campus traffic has had to adjust to [the construction], the parking deck will be a great long-term investment for Mason.”

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