Section of Chestnut Road closed due to construction on Farm Lane bridge

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Part of the Spartan Statue intersection will be closed until May 1 due to construction on the Farm Lane bridge.

Chestnut Road was closed before the start of the spring semester. While there is no construction being performed on Chestnut, the detour aims to protect pedestrians by reducing overflow traffic from the Farm Lane closure.

The detour reroutes vehicles along Kalamazoo Street and Demonstration Hall Road.

Michigan State Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF) sent out a campus-wide email announcing the closure on Dec. 19, attributing the cause of the closure to the Farm Lane bridge replacement. The email said that Chestnut Road would be closed from Jan. 3 through May 1.

The construction on the Farm Lane bridge has been split into two sections. The first section on the pedestrian bridge was completed last summer. The second section of the bridge removal and reconstruction is happening during the spring and summer semesters of 2024.

“Splitting the work into phases provided the ability for the MSU community to continuously cross the river at that juncture using different modalities,” Senior Project Manager at MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities Andy Linebaugh said in an email.

Linebaugh said one of the main reasons the bridge was reconstructed was due to the bridge’s deteriorating substructure, which will be completely resolved after the completion of the new bridge.

IPF expected more traffic at the Spartan Statue intersection due to the closure of the Farm Lane bridge, making it more difficult for pedestrians to cross the streets safely, so they made the decision to reroute drivers.

Linebaugh said that temporary traffic signals were initially installed at the intersection which only operated in flashing red mode. The signals adjusted drivers to the conditions while IPF awaited the delivery of new temporary traffic signals. 

The new signals offer phased intervals and pedestrian walk signals, and should improve wait times at the intersection They were installed on Jan. 31.

The closure of Chestnut Road has also affected the Capital Area Transportation Authority bus routes on MSU’s campus. The four bus stops on Kalamazoo Road will not be served by bus routes 25 or 39 during the road closure.

“Routes 25 and 39 will use Shaw Lane rather than Kalamazoo Road between Harrison and Chestnut roads,” said the online CATA bus schedule.

Communicative sciences and disorders junior Mia Thistlethwaite uses the buses to get to class from her apartment, but has to allow for some extra time when there’s construction work on campus.

“The construction just makes the bus run a little slower,” she said.

CATA offers an app called Transit to track bus routes, and allows users to see when buses will be arriving at a stop.

The Transit app shows a “significant delay warning” icon on the routes affected by the Chestnut Road closure. The app also shows turn-by-turn directions of the detour route, allowing riders to see which roads the detour route will take.

Thistlethwaite said that even though the Chestnut Road closure doesn’t directly affect the routes she uses, other construction might.

“I just check the Transit app more often when I know I’m going to use the bus that day,” she said.

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