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Paving the way: New bike lane part of summer construction boom

For current information about construction on the Mesa Lab road through late October, visit Building Maintenance and Closures.

Big changes in the organization’s facilities are in store this summer, particularly at the Mesa Lab, where the long-awaited bike/pedestrian lane will soon be under way.

The overall project kicks off in late June with the installation of a new lighting system, approved by the President’s Council, for the Mesa Lab’s sidewalks and parking lot. Signs that this process has begun will include trenches dug across the parking lot and along sidewalks for the placement of new conduits and wire.

“If you’ve ever been at the Mesa after dark on a moonless night, you will no doubt be in full agreement with the decision to replace the area lighting,” says Dave Patterson (FMS). The new light fixtures will increase employee safety and security, decrease energy usage, and reduce light pollution visible from town.

Once the trenches are closed, the Mesa Lab parking lot will be repaved. The paving is scheduled to occur before the bike path construction to ensure that paving truck traffic coming up the road doesn’t damage the brand new mesa road and bike/pedestrian lane.

In early August, once the parking lot project is complete, the nitty-gritty work begins: paving the mesa road and adding the new uphill bike/pedestrian lane. “This completed project will be good news for all multi-modal commuters,” Dave says. “The bad news is that it will be an intensive effort affecting easy access to the Mesa.”

Dave expects the road to be inundated with large trucks and equipment, single lane detours, and traffic delays into about mid-October. “We’re asking staff to please be patient and drive, walk, and ride carefully around all areas under construction,” he says. “In the end, the completed project will serve the Mesa Lab for many years with ongoing preventative maintenance for both the road and the parking lot.”

In related news, SaSS’s Logistics Operations will be relocated from the Mesa Lab to a permanent new home in CG3 in late June, diverting delivery traffic from the Mesa Lab during construction there. The relocation will require concrete island reconstruction for delivery trucks in front of CG3, completed by late July. 

Also on tap this summer is construction of a prairie dog barrier behind Foothills, repaving of the Foothills parking lot and ring access road, and big, bold changes to the landscaping at CG1 in honor of the 50th anniversary, including a phenology garden and shade structure.   

Construction updates will be posted throughout the summer in Staff Notes Daily. Also check Building and Maintenance Closures for current information.