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Oct 3, 2001

Calvin crossing Going Up

NOTE: For pictures, when they're available, see the Stepping East website.

The expansion of the Calvin campus to the east side of the East Beltline will take a visibly dramatic turn this weekend when one-quarter of an almost 400-foot-long pedestrian crossing is put in place over the southbound lanes of the Beltline.

The milestone for Calvin is scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 6 between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m. Already Calvin student groups, including the pre-architecture club and students from the communication arts and sciences department, are planning "crossing parties" to watch the process. The communication arts and sciences department is one department that will be housed in the new DeVos Communication Center on the east side of the Beltline.

As mentioned this weekend's project will see the southbound lanes of the East Beltline spanned. The part of the crossing which spans the northbound lanes of the Beltline will be put into place on Saturday, October 20. The sections on Calvin's campus that connect the west and east sides of campus to the middle section of the crossing will be put into place on Tuesday, October 9 and Friday, November 2 respectively. Both those sections will be put into place during the day since they involve closing only on-campus roads.

In contrast this weekend's event will require closing both southbound lanes of the Beltline between Lake Drive and Burton streets.

Things will get started on Friday, October 5 at 3 p.m. when two trucks, each carrying part of the section of the span, arrive on campus. At 6 p.m. the crane that will put the sections into place comes to campus. And at 12 a.m. the work begins.

"This will be an amazing event," says Calvin VP Henry DeVries. "The work on our East campus project is going very well. Already you can see from the Beltline great signs of progress on both the DeVos (Communication Center) and Prince (Conference Center) buildings. But putting this half of the crossing in place is a great milestone. It will truly represent the stepping east theme that we've been talking about for this project. Everyone who is involved in planning this effort is really excited."

Intricacy of scheduling to ensure everything moves like clockwork is imperative says Ken Pitchford, Project Manager for Wolverine Construction Management, the company coordinating construction of the pedestrian walkway.

"Working within MDOT guidelines, we have seven hours to lift, position and weld the crossing span into place," he says.

Companies involved this weekend include: Steel Supply and Engineering (crossing fabricator), Gelock Heavy Movers (crane operation), Worksafe Supply Company (traffic safety) and Wolverine Construction Management (construction manager).

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Contact Phil de Haan
616-957-6475 (v)
616-957-7069 (f)