The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday October 21st

Snow delays quad construction, brought down trees around campus

The project, which was supposed to finish in March, might end in April.

<p>Construction equipment has cluttered the quad since August.  The recent snowstorms have postponed the project that is now expected to finish in April.</p>
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Construction equipment has cluttered the quad since August. The recent snowstorms have postponed the project that is now expected to finish in April.

Dana Leeson, associate director of construction management, said workers in the quad lost about five days of work during the storm.

“The contractor couldn’t come into work same as the workers and same as the students,” he said. “The icy conditions on the roads were dangerous for people to come in.”

Workers have been removing asbestos from the insulation in the steam lines since June. The project is supposed to finish in March.

The process involves shutting off steam lines to work on them.

“We were delayed a bit, but it wasn’t just because of the icy roads,” he said. “We couldn’t shut down a couple of the lines to make sure everyone had steam and heat.”

Because a full work week was lost, the project may stretch into the first or even second week of April. But Leeson said most of the barriers will be cleared by the end of March.

“There’s a lot of work going on above ground, but most of the work is being done below ground that people can’t see,” he said.

Leeson said the project is still within its $5 million budget.

The snowstorm also brought trees and large branches crashing to the ground, blocking walkways and roads.

“We had five major spots where trees came down,” said Tom Bythell, University forest manager. “A lot of them were causing travel problems and blocking roads.”

Trees fell on Manning Drive near the UNC Family Medicine Center, near Odum Village and near Quail Hill — where the chancellor’s house is located. Large branches blocked pathways near South Campus residence halls and Lenoir Dining Hall.

“We haven’t had a heavy snow event in a while, so it was a target for trees with weaker limbs that would have broken with some stress,” Bythell said.

Junior Michelle Brint, who lives in Carborro, said walking to class was challenging.

“When there was something in the way, I walked in the roads,” she said. “I definitely didn’t try to step over them.”

Bythell hopes to clear most of the limbs by the end of the week.

“There were trees that brought down wires and power lines that slowed us down,” he said. “If people see stray trees laying around, it’s probably because it may be too dangerous to approach them. It’s an extreme hazard working around wires.”

There is no set budget for snow-related cleanups because the amount of snow varies each year. Bythell said he has yet to assess how much clearing the trees will cost.

For now, he and his team are focusing on clearing high traffic areas.

“Our biggest concern was Manning Drive and the emergency room and, of course, the basketball stadium,” Bythell said.


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