Rain dampens Egypt repairs

Jessica Sasseen

Water has again put a damper on the Creason lot.

Recent rain and snow has slowed the progress of renovations to the parking lot, located off University Boulevard.

The university allotted $2 million from the construction budget to double the number of parking spaces and reduce flooding.

The project, which will eventually add 378 spots and bring the lot to a total of 750 spaces, was first slated to be completed before this semester began. But John Osborne, associate vice president for campus services and facilities, said the project is now scheduled to be finished by next fall.

The progress is now “entirely weather dependent,” he said.

“We are hoping at this point that by spring we would be able to at least get gravel down and use it in that manor,” said Karl Laves, co-chair of the parking and transportation committee.

Snow and rain aren’t the only factors lengthening the project, Laves said. The cold weather has also forced delays.

“It’s my understanding, in addition to the weather making it difficult to work, you can’t put asphalt down if it’s too cool,” Laves said. “We’ve only got these windows of opportunity.”

Osborne expressed his frustration with the weather.

“About the time it dries out enough to start working, it rains or snows again,” he said.

When completed, the lot will have improved drainage and an entirely repaved surface.

“We’re taking care of drainage problems by putting in structures that will hold off run off from that area,” Facilities Management Director Doug Ault said. “We haven’t been able to put pipes into trenches, just been too wet.”

To ease the flooding on the Creason lot, four 48-inch-diameter holes will be drilled into the cave system below the lot. Water running down the hill catches contaminates, which in turn can pollute the cave system. The holes will be covered by equipment that will catch and filter the water.

This new system should bring pollution and flood relief.

In the past, the flooding has been such a problem that campus police have had to tow cars from the lot.

“We had water deep enough to jump off the railroad trusses and dive into it like a lake,” Construction Manager Ed West said, referring to a storm in 1998.

Bloomfield freshman Melanie Hagan has had her own experiences with the flooding in the Creason lot.

“I did park my car there,” Hagan said, “But I fell in one of those holes and it was a deep, deep hole. I was drenched.”

With more spaces and improved drainage, the Creason lot will serve students will all colors of parking tags.

“It should make the whole (lot) quite a bit more usable for the students,”Ault said.

Reach Jessica Sasseen at [email protected]