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Construction alters route to athletic fields

This main campus walkway, featuring "TV Man" by David Bakalar, will be closed in November due to construction of the Sports and Fitness Center.
This main campus walkway, featuring "TV Man" by David Bakalar, will be closed in November due to construction of the Sports and Fitness Center.
Photo / Donna Coveney

The October 27 groundbreaking for the Sports and Fitness Center will herald the November start of a major change in MIT pedestrian traffic patterns.

Beginning in November, the main walkway from Massachusetts Avenue to the athletic fields will be closed at the steps between Kresge Auditorium and the Briggs Field House (Briggs, W23).

The walkway to the DuPont Athletic Center, between the Stratton Student Center and Briggs, will remain open, as will the main entrance to the Johnson Athletic Center.

This week, work will begin on the asbestos abatement at Briggs in preparation for demolition of the building in early November.

In preparation for the ground-breaking and construction, the barbecue pits will be removed early this month and new pits will be constructed to the southwest of Kresge (near Amherst and Danforth streets) for use in the spring.

By October 15, Grounds Services will remove the trees, relocate the salvageable plantings and place David Bakalar's "TV Man" sculpture (see photo below) into temporary storage.


Construction of the fences will begin this month but gates will be open until November, according to John Hawes, senior project manager for the Department of Facilities. The fence will run from the main walkway across to the north steps of Kresge over to the Kresge Parking Lot, part of which will be used for the construction site of the Sports and Fitness Center.

Passage to the athletic fields from the main walkway via the north steps of Kresge will be available until early November. After that, pedestrians going to the athletic fields or to Johnson Athletic Center will have a zigzag detour via the Kresge Plaza and the Kresge Parking Lot.

The construction in November also will affect people parking in the West Garage, who will need to walk to 77 Massachusetts Ave. via Vassar Street and Massachusetts Avenue rather than cutting across the lawn area by the barbecue pits.


Other construction developments include utility relocation work beginning this week on Ames Street. It will affect traffic, parking and pedestrians and create noise and dust for people living in Senior House and East Campus. The work is part of the Media Lab expansion. Completion: December 2001.


Excavation, causing some vibrations, continues at the rate of one slurry wall panel per day, alternating between the south and west perimeters of the Stata site.

Sewer work at the northwest corner of the site (near Building 36) is scheduled to start October 10 and last four weeks, including two weeks of work on Vassar Street that will shift traffic lanes and block some parking spaces on the street. There will be two lanes of traffic open at all times. The loading dock to Building 36 will remain closed throughout construction. Completion: Fall 2003.


Fire loop installation, part of the Fire Safety Systems Renewal Program, continues outside of Walker Memorial and Hayden Library. This work might cause noise disruption to occupants of nearby buildings. Completion: Winter 2001.


The City of Cambridge is putting in new storm drain pipes along Memorial Drive and Massachusetts Avenue, creating noise and pedestrian and traffic problems on Memorial Drive at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue near Building 1, as well as on Massachusetts Avenue between Albany and Vassar streets. Construction will move in the direction of Central Square down Massachusetts Avenue to Main Street. Completion: Spring 2001.


Utilities work in the railroad right-of-way next to the Albany Street Garage and also near Massachusetts Avenue will disrupt pedestrian traffic until late fall. The work will provide utility lines for new campus buildings.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 4, 2000.

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