By Sam Combest– 

Money saved on the construction of the new Belknap Academic Building will fund a new pedestrian plaza next door.

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees approved spending the $3,755,294 left over from construction on the plaza.

The passage will reduce traffic congestion, get rid of service conflicts and eliminate unsafe crosswalks. The pedestrian plaza will be built in two phases.  Phase one will include the construction of a service drive while phase two includes the pedestrian plaza.

Phase one is expected to be completed by March 15 and will cost approximately $1,250,345.

Phase two is projected to cost $1,800,000 resulting in an extra $929,949 needed for the project.

John Stratton, senior architect in University Planning, Design and Construction said, “Approval was  authorized for immediate start of BAB Phase 1 Service Drive from remaining project funds. Approval for BAB Phase 2 Pedestrian Plaza was granted contingent upon available funds that required start of construction of Phase 2 in early spring 2019.”

Phase 1 Service Drive is aimed at improving the safety, access and convenience around campus and is a necessary improvement to the university campus.

The Service Drive will go along the train tracks behind Houchens, the SAC, and the Service Complex buildings.

“Phase 2 Pedestrian Plaza will further enhance these improvements by providing additional greenspace, sustainability improvements, bicycle pathways and safer connectivity to existing university facilities,” said Stratton.

The Pedestrian Plaza will be blocking part of Floyd Street with the plaza going on the east side of the building in front of Houchens and the Service Complex.

With the future removal of the previous Post Office as part of Phase 1, there will be additional parking.

The Phase 1 Service Drive has been on the universities campus plan since the 70’s.

Any unspent funds will not be redistributed to U of L.

File Photo/ The Louisville Cardinal