By Will Conerly
One month ago, Quincy University students and the surrounding neighborhoods were impacted by the start of construction and road closures around 18th Street.
Students normally make the commute from the school’s main campus to North Campus by taking 18th Street.
That route consists of a trek on 18th from Chestnut to Maple Street. However, the start of construction to replace aging water pipes under the Chestnut to Maple section of 18th Street has forced drivers to seek alternate routes.
Rees Construction Companyof Quincy, is managing the project and has already begun replacing the water and sewage lines in the area of 18th Street that is now closed to traffic.
The City of Quincy and their Engineering Department initially said the closure would last until the end of May
These delays caused residents and students alike to have limited access to North 18th Street.
Drivers on 18th Street will notice barricades at either end of the construction area that allows local to residents access to their property.
All of the side streets that intersect with 18th Street in the construction zone are closed and will remain that way until the project is completed.
“The closure of 18th has affected me as a resident. My house is on Maple Street and now I have to take the back ways,” Chandler Purcell, a QU senior baseball player, said. “It can be inconvenient at times when I’m trying to get to a certain place quicker instead of having to go the opposite direction”
Students were warned of the 18th Street closures in an email from Quincy University Community Relations Department on the Thursday preceeding the closure.
The two-month closure will allow the city to replace aging water lines. And then in phase two of the project, streets will be resurfaced adding curbs and sidewalks.
“It has mainly affected me in terms of by getting to the baseball stadium due to practices everyday and being in the middle of our season,” Purcell said.
The football and baseball stadiums for Quincy University student-athletes can only be accessed by taking 20th street because of the closures.
In the midst of baseball season, and with football spring practices starting the week of April 1st, there will likely be longer commute times entering and exiting the parking lot outside each stadium.
Some attempted to aviod this by parking on side streets near 18th, but due to resident complaints, student-athletes are required to park in the lot.
Some students commute to North Campus via the QU shuttle multiple times a week, like QU senior Kevin Fitzgerald.
“It has actually helped me. I take the shuttle and depending on the route of the shuttle driver, it works out better for me because I live across the street from campus. Of course it’s an inconvenience but as always there’s a positive and negative to the situation,” Fitzgerald said. “Taking 20th back from campus allows the shuttle driver to let me off right at my house without making a change to his route.”
Other students are glad the construction is happening, because they wanted to avoid a road that was plagued with potholes.
“The road was awful and plagued with potholes, but it’s horrible being closed because we use that daily and have to detour every time we need to go somewhere,” Jay Hammel, freshman, said. “They could’ve at least waited until the summer.”