The construction that has obstructed much of Library Mall for more than two years will finally be coming to a close in mid-December when ongoing utility replacements and upgrades are complete.
The project was the final phase of a five-part plan to upgrade the utility system throughout the east side of campus and focused primarily on building an underground utilities tunnel to make maintenance access to the utilities easier.
While these new utility upgrades are estimated to last 30 to 50 years, this does not mean the Library Mall will remain free from construction.
According to a statement from the university, it will approach the city about plans to potentially begin rebuilding the Library Mall and the State Street Mall sometime in the next six months.
Dan Dudley, the campus Facilities Planning and Management utilities engineer for the project, said the tunnel is being implemented to ease future maintenance and avoid further interference with Library Mall.
"We wanted to create a walkthrough tunnel underneath to house the utilities so if there are any issues ... we wouldn't have to obstruct the mall in any way," he said.
Another key component of the project was to put backup lines, called redundancies, in place so that the system will be able to keep working if there are problems or breaks in the lines.
"Utility lines eventually will have problems as they get older and you may have to do maintenance on them," Dudley said.
"In order to keep the campus up and running without any interruptions we can ... create loops in our central campus plans."
Dudley also said the university will continue to upgrade and maintain campus utilities in years to come.
"It's an ongoing effort," he said. "As the campus expands, we want to continue to provide redundancy to increase our reliability with serving the campus."