Construction on the University of Minnesota’s intercampus Transitway has been a nuisance for students, bus drivers and police — but the roadwork is set to wrap up in about a month.
Central Corridor light-rail construction shut down part of the road — which connects the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses used only by emergency vehicles and buses — in mid-May. After a small delay, construction will be finished Aug. 24, the day before the Minnesota State Fair begins, Jacqueline Brudlos, spokeswoman for the University’s Parking and Transportation Services, said in an email.
Until then, buses, bicyclists and pedestrians have to take an alternate route between campuses, which has changed the way students and staff use the shuttles and commute.
Steve McKay, a horticulture science postdoctoral student at the University, said he uses the campus buses as “rarely as possible.” When he does use them, McKay plans for a longer commute, he said.
With only 23rd to 29th avenues — southeast of TCF Bank Stadium — under construction, the alternate route for the shuttle is heading southeast on University Avenue to Malcolm Avenue and then back on the Transitway, Brudlos said.
The construction means more traffic and longer delays, said Joe Higgins, a University bus driver. The intercampus route currently takes almost 20 minutes longer than the usual 10- or 15-minute ride, he said. “I feel sorry for the students.”
University police heading between campuses also follow the new route.
“Construction around campus in general has made things more difficult for us to get around,” University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said. “This is just one example.”
While patrolling, officers generally use the Transitway several times a day, Miner said.
With different stops than usual, University junior Christopher Kimbowa once mistakenly got off at the St. Paul campus instead of near Coffman Union — his intended stop. Kimbowa was on his way to a walk-in adviser appointment, which he’ll have to work into his schedule another time, he said.
Genetics sophomore Emily Ward, who uses the Campus Connector once a week, said the stops are inconvenient now and the ride has slowed down, which once made her 20 minutes late to visit a friend on the St. Paul campus.