West Campus Connector to Impact Traffic on Rte 123 and Parking
One of the most significant construction projects at Mason is still in the planning phase. But beginning next summer, it’s likely that the West Campus Connector project will have an impact on most people traveling to or around the Fairfax Campus.
It’s not yet determined whether the connector road will be in the form of a bridge overpass or an underground tunnel. The bridge option would be easier to construct and would provide more branding opportunities for the university. But a tunnel would seem to have less impact on traffic along Rte 123.
Either way, parking in the West Campus Lot will be limited or possibly eliminated during construction. Also, the Patriot Village parking lot would likely close. But the re-opening of Lot I would offset much of the lost parking.
The Office of Parking and Transportation as well as Facilities Management acknowledge that there will be some level of inconvenience for many people next year, but they hope to keep it at a minimum. Once the project is done, it could ease traffic congestion near the intersection of Route 123 and Braddock Road by as much as 30%, according to Josh Cantor, director of parking and transportation. It will also improve the campus’ overall parking infrastructure by providing much easier and safer access to West Campus.
The West Campus Connector project is budgeted at $15 million, but this time, the Virginia Department of Transportation is fitting the bill while Mason is overseeing the project. A request for proposals will likely be released in either December or January, to allow enough time to find a contractor and architect for the job.
Facilities Management currently has its eye on fall 2013 for project completion.