To increase campus safety and create a pedestrian-friendly roadway for students at Anderson University, the university will begin a $2 million remodel project on Fifth Street this coming summer. The project, undertaken in cooperation with the City of Anderson, will both widen and add a safety median on Fifth Street upon completion.
The construction on 5th Street is set to begin on May 11 and conclude mid-August in order to be open when students return to the campus for classes on August 31. The construction time frame for the project was determined after consideration of the Anderson University academic schedule and the build-out process. Although the street will be closed to vehicular traffic during construction, a safe pedestrian walkway will be developed by Reardon Auditorium so that the campus community and visiting conventions may continue to use the 2,200 seat facility.
Over time, Anderson University has noted significant safety concerns along 5th Street, College Drive and Nursery Road. These concerns relate to the large number of pedestrians that cross these streets. For example, Fifth Street and College Avenue are both two lane roads with parking on both sides and concrete sidewalks located adjacent to the curbs. The level of traffic, lack of pedestrian traffic signals, blocked visibility due to on-street parked cars, the proximity of sidewalks to the street and less than optimal lighting considerations have all been indicated as contributors to the safety concerns.
Upon completion, the street will feature a brick pedestrian safety circle at the intersection of 5th Street and Walnut directly south of Decker Hall and a brick pedestrian crosswalk at the intersection of College and 5th Street. The final project will also feature new street lighting and landscaped areas between the new curb line and the sidewalks to create a buffer area between motorists and pedestrians.
The final design of the road will be similar to University Boulevard. The length of the project will extend from College Avenue to Executive Drive (just east of the Krannert Fine Arts Center). A pedestrian safety median will also extend from College Avenue to Chestnut.
The 5th Street project will be funded through the Transportation Equity Act, which was signed into law in August 2005. Anderson University is coordinating the design and construction.
In 1994, the City of Anderson and the university partnered to widen and add a median to University Boulevard. The University Boulevard project added a pedestrian stop on the median, landscaping and scored concrete.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.