Shima parking lot berm construction to be completed by December

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Rockford Kossman hoses the soil to soften it while Dion T. Gibson rakes the dirt using the “Blade.” PHOTOS BY ALEXANDER APCAR

Only a few weeks into the fall semester and students are finding parking spots occupied by cyclone fences, large machines and mounds of dirt. 

This has been the scene at the center of the Shima parking lot since Sept. 9. It began just before the start of the semester.

Students were notified of the construction on Sept. 5 with announcements on social media: “Shima parking lots (S1/S2) will be restricted due to construction.” A map was attached showing closure at the north side entrance.

The project, called the Path of Travel Phase III, is underway and on time. Vice President of Operations Geraldo Calderón, said the breaking of ground is just the first step in a larger plan to improve parking and accessibility.

Rockford Kossman dampens the soil to help losen the dirt, making it easier to rake. PHOTO BY ALEXANDER APCAR

“The scope of the project is to replace the entire asphalt pathway on the berm as you enter the campus from Pershing Avenue, and continues east along the southern edge of the Shima parking lot toward the Budd Center. The project calls for replacement of the original asphalt pathway from the early 1970’s. The new path of travel provides a smooth concrete surface that meet accessibility requirements,” he wrote in response to emailed questions from The Collegian.

The Path of Travel Phase III project also includes modern features, from lighting to safety. 

“The work also includes LED lighting posts, an emergency Blue Phone with a direct connection to Delta’s police dispatch center, and placement of a video surveillance camera,” Calderon said.

The parking lot is slated for another traffic-reducing corridor, adds Calderon. 

“In addition, a second traffic exit lane is being added to the southern entrance/exit to the parking lot (across the road from the baseball field),” he said.

Repairs and upgrades are welcomed. 

Students who have parked in the further reaches of the Shima 2 lot may have observed the concrete walkways lining the parking lots are in disrepair. Some are warped and cracked by tree roots. Drivers experience congestion when driving through the lot’s two narrow entrances on North Burke Bradey Road by the Horticulture Center and West Burke Bradey by Pershing Avenue and the Nick Cecchetti baseball field.

“I am looking forward to it since it’s an upgrade!’ said Melany Navarez, a Delta alumni and English Department employee. “I don’t mind the construction either since I get to the parking lot earlier and park close.” 

Apart from the temporary inconvenience, Naverez also voiced feelings on the loss of some of the trees.

“I guess I don’t mind it too much,” said Navarez, “because it’s a small area being redone. However, if they were to completely redo the entire parking lot then I would be upset because I enjoy the trees on campus.”

The Path of Travel phase III is scheduled to be complete and the parking lot reopened by December this year. 

For a map of the planned changes, visit bit.ly/shimaLot.