Danforth Campus construction update: Projects and timing

The Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis will be buzzing with construction activity this summer.

Now that Commencement is over, crews will begin renovations on Olin Library and Bryan Hall, and start utility work in advance of the upcoming enhancements to the east end of the Danforth Campus .

Additional projects include the creation of a Big Bend bicycle/pedestrian dual path and a Wallace Drive water main replacement. The scope of the work being done this summer means there will be a number of road, parking or sidewalk closures related to the construction. To find out the latest information, visit detours.wustl.edu.

Here is a detailed description of the main summer construction projects:

Olin Library

Olin Library will have a major expansion within its existing footprint, as two levels of additional space will be created below the Whispers Café in the southeast corner of the building. The renovation will increase space for study and exploration and will feature new spaces for enhanced technology, including data and Geographic Information Systems.

A new entrance also will be opened at the north side of Olin, creating a corridor from north to south, and allowing ease of access to buildings to the north of Olin. The area adjacent to Whispers Café will undergo a dramatic renovation with the addition of a four-story glass tower with space for collaboration, meeting rooms, exhibition space and the Exploration Center. Whispers will be renovated to provide enhanced customer service and a more appealing and efficient layout.

Construction began following Commencement and is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2017 fall semester. A construction fence is being installed at the southeast corner of Olin to allow construction activities and material laydown. Because of the two-level excavation, multiple trucks per day will be used to remove the dirt below Whispers to create the much-needed space. Trucks will enter from Forsyth and be safely escorted in and out of campus via the fire lane. This phase of the project will be completed prior to the start of the 2016 fall semester.

Read more here about the Olin Library project.

Olin Library rendering
A rendering of the Newman Tower of Collections and Exploration, to be built within the atrium of Whispers Café

Olin Library Const

Bryan Hall and Forest Park Parkway pedestrian bridge

Bryan Hall on Throop Drive, currently home to office and lab space for engineering students and faculty, will be transformed into a world-class facility for the Department of Chemistry in Arts & Sciences.

The entire north façade of Bryan Hall facing Throop Drive will be removed and replaced with a modern glass and terra cotta skin that will dramatically enhance the building appearance. The connector at levels 4 and 5 between Bryan Hall and McMillen Hall will be completely reconstructed, allowing for ease of movement between the two buildings. When completed in January 2018, Bryan Hall will be home to 13 chemistry laboratories for cutting-edge research, serving to attract and retain the university’s world-class researchers and students.

BryanHall North elevation rendering
Rendering of the north side of Bryan Hall renovations

An integral part of this construction project will be the rebuilding of the pedestrian and bike bridge over Forest Park Parkway. The current structure, which is part of the Centennial Greenway, will be removed and replaced with a wider structure to enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety by creating separate paths on the new bridge.

The first phase of this reconstruction will take place in the summer of 2016, with the elevated section over Throop Drive being removed and replaced in time for the fall semester. The section running from Throop over Forest Park Parkway will remain in place, but access will be modified with the installation of a temporary stair at the terminus at Throop Drive. This demolition and reconstruction of the section of the bridge over Throop Drive, along with the work at Bryan Hall, will force the closure of Throop at this area. It will remain closed until completion of Bryan Hall in January 2018. Consequently, bicycle traffic on the Centennial Greenway will be temporarily limited during the summer of 2016, but it will be restored in late August 2016.

Pedestrians will have to use alternate paths to get down to Throop Drive, but once there can gain access to the bridge and points north of campus. During the summer of 2017, the second phase of bridge reconstruction will take place, thus prohibiting pedestrian and bicycle passage over Forest Park Parkway from late May 2017 until late August 2017. Signage will be installed to safely route pedestrians around the construction zones.

Read more about Driving Discovery, the initiative behind the transformation of the north side of the Danforth Campus.

Closures Near Bryan Hall
Scheduled traffic closures near Bryan Hall

East end infrastructure work to begin

In advance of the enhancements to the east end of the Danforth Campus set to begin in May 2017, crews will relocate and extend the utility infrastructure in preparation for connections to the new east end buildings.

The utility work will take place along Hoyt Drive in two locations: on the lawn immediately east and south of Rudolph Hall, and crossing Hoyt near its intersection with Forsyth. Workers will have construction vehicles in the road during the day with a flagman to maintain safe traffic access. The construction may cause traffic delays during the workday, but Hoyt will be returned to normal traffic flow at the end of the workday. Signs will be located to safely direct pedestrians and vehicles in the vicinity of the worksite.

EastEnd Utilities
East end utilities project: The blue area in this image shows the excavation area near Rudolph Hall and the yellow lines are pedestrian routes around and through the east end of the Danforth Campus.

Big Bend’s dual path

The sidewalk on the east side of Big Bend Boulevard from Forsyth down to Forest Park Parkway will be removed and replaced with a separated pedestrian and bicycle dual path. Pedestrians will be asked to cross Big Bend and continue up or down the west side to access the Parkway or Forsyth. Construction work is set to begin after Commencement and will conclude prior to the return of students in August. Signs will be located to safely direct pedestrians in the vicinity of the worksite.

Wallace Drive utility replacement

Missouri American Water will be replacing a large water main on Wallace Drive this summer. The work zone will extend from Forsyth south on Wallace, then turning west into the Alumni House parking lot. Wallace will remain open to vehicles, but there will be flagmen and traffic restrictions during the work day. Work in the parking lot will require the vacation of a good number of parking spots to allow construction. Work will take place from June 13-Aug. 5.

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