New parking structure to close most of Coronado lot
UA officials announced last week that a large-scale construction project will shut down about 60 percent of the largest Zone One parking lot on campus.
More than half of the parking spaces in lot 5065, located in front of Coronado Residence Hall, will close on Dec. 15.
In place of the spaces will be a five-story parking garage, with at least 1,700 spaces, expected to be opened next fall.
Mike Delahanty, project coordinator from Parking and Transportation Services, said the new structure will be designed like the other garages on campus.
"We're putting in a parking structure that sort of looks like the other structures behind the (Memorial) Student Union and on Cherry (Ave.)," he said.
Despite the anticipation of the additional parking the structure will provide, Delahanty said the closure of the lot will change parking for months.
"The lot will be closed until next fall," he said. "We expect it will be open before the fall permit season."
Once the northern part of the lot is closed, access to the remaining parking spaces will be found on the east side, near the corner of North Tyndall Avenue and East Fifth Street.
Along with the parking changes, a portion of East Fourth Street will also be closed to traffic. Cars and bicycles will be rerouted to East Fifth Street and East University Boulevard.
Delahanty said the site will be designated by signs and should not present a safety issue for pedestrians.
"Safety will not be a problem," he said. "A fence will be going up that will outline the construction and staging area."
Delahanty said after the fence goes up, demolition of the lot will immediately begin.
"Demolition will involve tearing up the asphalt, curbing and the trees in the lot," he said. "We'll cut power (parking lot lights) too, and there are four lights that we'll be putting up."
Although construction will take about eight months, Delahanty said workers will be adhering to a strict timetable in order to complete it prior to the fall semester.
"After the demolition, they'll start with a precast for the footings of the structure," he said. "The major construction will begin in March. We're on a tight schedule and should finish in time for returning students."
Some Coronado residents who use the Zone One lot are not happy with the proposed construction, or the time the project will take.
"There is going to be such a hassle with the construction," said undeclared freshman Brad Fisher. "Who needs all that? It's going to take forever."
Adam Motschenbacher, a communication freshman, said the construction will most likely disrupt study time for the students in Coronado.
"This is terrible," he said. "How are we going to study? It'll probably take years to finish like the other projects going on."
Delahanty also said the construction project will not affect prices of Zone One parking passes.
"As far as affecting the Zone One passes, as of right now it's not going to raise prices," he said.
Although prices are not expected to change, some students feel that other issues will arise from the project.
Holly Landen, an education freshman, said she fears construction will further constrict the small amount of existing spaces.
"I don't have a car, but my roommate does," she said. "She has been trying all semester to get a Zone 1 pass, and has had to park at Geronimo's paying $8 a day. Now she'll probably never be able to get a pass."
Biology freshman Stephanie Foltz said the proposed change is indicative of another disruptive construction project that will continue to hinder students.
"They are trying to do to many construction projects at one time," she said. "It doesn't make sense."