Patriot Circle to See Further Road Work
Posted: February 13, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
By Dave Andrews
To those who thought construction work on Patriot Circle was finally complete, think again. Just months after the “circle” was reconnected following the completion of the roundabout in front of the Physical Education Building, campus drivers will need to brace themselves for further adjustments.
This time, the work on Patriot Circle is on the east side of the Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Rivanna River Lane. The project entails tunneling under both roads to increase the capacity of underground water distribution from the Central Heating and Cooling Plant.
Currently, the plant is operating at full capacity to serve the existing buildings on campus. The upgrades were essential to prepare for the fall 2009 opening of Eastern Shore — the first of two buildings to be completed as part of the Housing VII-C project.
“This is an example of some necessary growing pains. As Mason continues to expand and progress, these types of projects can be expected,” says Josh Cantor, director of parking and transportation. “Like the rest of construction on campus, this project will be well managed to keep traffic running smoothly.”
Work began last December, but workers have had to deal with irregular construction schedules because of inclement weather. Work has since resumed but completion dates have been pushed back slightly.
Area travelers will see temporarily changing traffic patterns beginning this month and continuing until the project is completed in June. Traffic along Rivanna River Lane was the first to change, narrowing to one lane.
Come April, Patriot Circle will see changes and some delays as traffic is funneled into one lane at times, with flagmen directing traffic. Vehicles traveling to Rivanna River Lane will be given only right-turn-in and right-turn-out access.
The main concern before the project was approved was to maintain the status of Rivanna River Lane as a thoroughfare for delivery vehicles. The road has long been a main access point to Student Union Building II for food and mail delivery. More recently it has been the road most traveled by Southside Dining delivery vehicles. To keep these buildings and services operational, the intersection was widened to allow larger delivery trucks to maneuver through the construction areas.