Timing of work on McNichols entry is inconvenient

After a long wait, UDM is finally getting a new McNichols entrance.

I had seen the rendering before but was skeptical that it would ever happen, let alone during my UDM career.

So it’s fair to say I was a little surprised when I got the mass email about the construction.

But I was even more surprised at when construction would be taking place: this semester.

I’ll be blunt.

It just doesn’t make sense.

UDM is a commuter school. We have two ways in and two ways out. It’s that simple: There’s no way around it.

I guess that’s the price you pay when you’re a gated campus.

Why wait until the middle of the fall semester to take away one of the entrances and replace it with a temporary one down the street?

And about that temporary entrance – it’s not my favorite.

If you’re driving on McNichols toward Woodward, it’s a hard right turn thanks to how narrow the driveway is.

Plus, the row of cones and a DPS car stationed there don’t help.

Full disclosure: I drive a large sedan that is a pain to drive in cramped spaces, but I’ve talked to some friends and they have the same complaints.

Putting temporary entrances on Fairfield by the turnstile, across from the Fitness Center, and one by the Calihan parking lot would have been far better options, but that’s just me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled that UDM finally decided to completely redo the McNichols entrance.

To say it was needed would be an understatement.

Unless you came to campus at an odd time of day, it was almost a guarantee that traffic would be backed up onto McNichols.

Fellow commuters who got stuck behind a car filling out a visitor’s pass know what I’m talking about.

Granted, I’ve only had to deal with the temporary entrance for about three weeks now so maybe I’ll get used to it.

I just don’t get why this project couldn’t have been taken care of during the summer, when far fewer students, faculty and staff are driving in and out on a daily basis.

Perhaps with the new road being put in by Reno Hall and Holden Hall, as well as the “road” being re-done by the Chemistry Building, UDM just couldn’t fit another project on the schedule.

All this work looks great. The McNichols campus will certainly look better when I graduate in May than when I moved in August of 2012.

And to my great surprise, new (and, more importantly, working) streetlights were finally installed on Livernois by campus. I’m still waiting for the rusty, old ones to come down, though.

And, yes, a lot of dirt has been moved since construction started.

Who knows? Maybe the work will be completed ahead of schedule.

Because I know I’m looking forward to driving into campus under that shiny new archway.

Walsworth is VN editor-in-chief