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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

March 8, 2012 Meeting

Thursday, March 8 | 8:30 a.m. | B112 Wells Hall

Construction Junctions are the Physical Plant’s* monthly public meetings designed to update/inform the public of various projects currently in design, nearing construction and under construction.

Steam Distribution – West Circle Steam Loop - 2012

  • Many steam tunnels in the area are about 100 years old and have reached the end of their useful life.
  • The project will take place until 2015 and will be divided into phases.
  • Steam tunnel, mechanical, electrical, duct bank, sanitary and storm system work will be done, and new electrical vaults, water mains and communication lines will be installed.
  • Vaults 366, 367 and 368 are being worked on.
  • Crews are trying to complete the first phase by finals week.
  • After finals, the second phase will begin.
  • Work on Beal Street will be done by June 8.
  • The bulk of the project will take place from late May to mid-July.
  • Roads will remain open for the art fair.
  • Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the project.
  • Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained to Olin Health Center.
  • Access to Cowles House and parking lots in the area will be maintained.
  • The cement for Vault 368 has been poured, and it is being waterproofed.
  • The walls of Vault 367 have been poured, and crews are getting ready to pour the lid.
  • Vault 366, by Landon Field, has been excavated and will be poured soon.
  • Access points have been cut into the steam tunnel to insert new pipes by crane.
  • New silt shield for storm water protection is being used on this project.
  • Duct bank work is occurring by Ramp 2, but access has been maintained to the area.
  • There will be a lane closure over the weekend of March 10 in the area, but the road will not close.
  • There are brochures available about the project; if you would like some for your office, e-mail
  • Site signs will be going up soon in construction areas.
  • All lanes of traffic will be open by April 20.
  • Good weather has kept the project on schedule.

Q: How big is a vault, and what is in there? Are there electrical and communication lines inside?
A: It isn’t good to have electrical and communication lines in the steam vaults, so we are trying to keep just steam in there. The sizes of steam vaults vary, but these are about the size of a two-car garage.

Q: Are you replacing the tunnels that feed those vaults, too?
A: In some areas we are just replacing the pipes, and in others we are replacing the whole tunnel.

Q: Is there talk about putting in a chilled water plant?
A: There has been talk on and off about it, but this project has ramped interest in installing the infrastructure in case we want to use one in the future, but it is not part of this project.

Library – Chiller Replacement

  • The project includes replacing the absorption machines to be more efficient.
  • The electrical system will also be updated for increased technological use.
  • The air handlers are also being replaced.
  • A plaza seating area is being built above the electrical vault on the south side of the building.
  • Originally, the project called for the south entrance to be closed, but access has been maintained with a temporary ramp.
  • The new absorbers are in place and are about the size of a freight car.
  • The new electrical vault is functioning and in use.
  • New cooling towers have been installed on the east roof.
  • A new air handler has been installed in the penthouse.
  • There are new hot water heating pumps and a new converter.

Q: What voltage is in vaults?
A: It is 1,3200 volts and goes through two transformers.
Q: So the coffee seating area will be over that?
A: Yes, there are thick slabs of concrete above the vault, so there is no danger.

Bailey and Rather Hall Renovations 

  • The main change in the project over the last month is work on the bathroom renovations.
  • There is new flooring in the student rooms.
  • The restrooms have been retiled, using a small tile size.
  • The areas around the water fountains have been tiled.
  • The roads are closed in front of Bailey and Rather halls.
  • There will be more closures in the Brody Complex when Armstrong and Bryan halls are renovated.

Bott Building for Nursing and Education Research

  • It is the first building on campus to use a geothermal field for heating and cooling.
  • There is LED florescent lighting in the building which is cost saving and eco-friendly.
  • Skylights have been added for natural light which is more sustainable.
  • There is a unique carpooling plan for the building.
  • It is ahead of schedule and under budget.
  • Glass walls have been installed, and the masonry has been completed.
  • The connecting corridor connects the Bott Building to the Life Sciences Building and includes a large gathering space.
  • The building is entirely enclosed.
  • Drywall has been put up on the third floor.
  • The pumps for the geothermal field are installed.
  • Electrical switch gear has been installed.
  • Bogue Street and Service Drive are open, but there will be closures in the spring for landscaping.
  • Check out the video about geothermal online.
  • A webcam showing building progress is available.

Q: Is geothermal energy supplemented with steam?
A: No, but we have gas that powers the hot water heaters and a generator that is gas powered.

Wells Hall Addition

  • The building will be substantially complete soon.
  • The language departments will move in in June.
    • The project will unite the language departments in one location.
  • The project is under budget and on schedule.
  • The first floor is the last floor to be completed.
  • The second floor is nearly complete.
  • The elevators are completely installed.
  • Drywall is up on the second floor, and it has been painted.
  • The third floor has open office space.
  • Wi-Fi is available in the People’s Park.
  • The glass exterior of the presentation space has been installed.

City of East Lansing Construction Projects

  • Work will be done on Harrison Road from Trowbridge Road to Mount Hope Road.
  • A detour will direct people across Trowbridge Road to Farm Lane.
  • Construction will be from the second week of May to the end of July.
  • Access to the train station will be maintained.
  • North Crescent Road to Mount Hope Road will remain open with a flip traffic flow.
  • The portion of Harrison Road that contains the railroad tracks will be closed.
  • There is discussion about renovating railroad tracks to make them smoother, but nothing has been confirmed.
  • A water main will be extended down Harrison Road.
  • Curb work will cause single lane closures at times.
  • It is recommended that guest take Kalamazoo Street in and out of campus if possible.
  • The paving will be done mostly at night to prevent traffic problems.
  • The Ann Street redevelopment project will begin in April end in August.
  • Utilities for new buildings being built in the area will be upgraded.
  • The project will not have much of an effect on campus.
  • Construction will begin on Charles Street to Albert Street.
  • There will be some water main work.
  • The project will include renovations to the plaza.
  • The project will be done in phases to maintain access to the businesses in the area.
  • Pedestrian access will be maintained.

Q: Will this mess up the bus routes?
A: Yes, but we are working with CATA  on how we are going to reroute the bus system.
Q: Do you think it will be a problem from April through August?
A: It will probably only be an issue April to mid-July. CATA will determine where they think the stops would be best placed.

MDOT Construction Projects

  • Northbound US-127 will be widened for an auxiliary lane.
  • It will go from the entrance ramp for I-496 to the exit at M-43.
  • The project will take place mid-April to mid-August.
  • The goal of the project is to decrease congestion and improve safety.
  • The bridge over Michigan Avenue and the Vine Street Bridge will also be widened.
  • Drivers will need to be in the right lane approaching Trowbridge Road to go north on US-127.
  • The Trowbridge Road entrance ramp and Kalamazoo Street exit ramp will remain open.
  • At the I-496 entrance ramp, merging will be avoided because the ramp will get its own lane.
  • Traffic to the exit ramp to M-43 will be directed to the Kalamazoo Street exit.
  • The M-43 ramp is close to the work zone, so it will be closed for safety reasons.

Q: If you are widening bridge over Michigan Avenue, will Michigan Avenue be closed?
A: We weren’t planning on any long-term road closure, but there may be intermittent short-term road closures for bridge demolition work and setting of new bridge beams.

  • In 2013, there will be extensive projects on M-43 and Michigan Avenue.
  • There will be three projects taking place.
  • Project one is preventative maintenance work.
  • It will include laying new asphalt to extend the life of the roadway.
  • It will also include upgrades to the sidewalk ramps.
  • Project two is pavement rehabilitation.
  • It will be more intensive.
  • The pavement in the area has ruts which are a safety concern.
  • Asphalt will be resurfaced and sidewalk ramps will be upgraded.
  • Project three is pavement rehabilitation and pedestrian and non-motorized vehicle improvements.
  • The project will include replacing the top couple layers of asphalt.
  • There will be geometric improvements to Bogue Street.
  • The traffic signals will be modernized.
  • There will be pedestrian signal upgrades.
  • Sidewalks will be widened up to eight feet wide where possible.
  • More mid-block pedestrian crossings will be added.
  • Between Bogue Street and Hagadorn Road, the outside lane in each direction will be marked and signed as a shared lane for motorists and cyclists.
  • The timeframe for these projects are not finalized.
  • The goal to complete as much work during MSU’s summer break as possible, especially downtown and east to Hagadorn Road.
  • The crews will possibly do night work to minimize daytime traffic impacts.
  • Michigan Avenue work may begin during the spring semester.
  • Single lane closures on Michigan Avenue for sidewalk ramp upgrading and single and double lane closures for resurfacing will occur. Grand River Avenue from Coolidge Road to Michigan Avenue will maintain one lane in each direction.
  • Grand River Avenue from Michigan Avenue to Bogue Street will have some single and double lane closures.
  • Grand River Avenue from Bogue Street to Park Lake Road will have lane closures and traffic shifts.
  • Go to or for more information.
  • There is a listserv for construction updates available.

Q: Will the pedestrian crossing have audible signals?
A: All new signals are being designed to incorporate visual countdown pedestrian signals, but the designs do not currently include audible signals. MDOT will follow up on this request.

Q: Will there be sequencing of the traffic lights?
A: Yes, the modernizations to traffic signals will help with that.

Q: You said the shared bicycle and car lane will be between Bogue Street and Hagadorn Road, but it will not go to Abbott Road? That would be beneficial to bicyclists.
A: That’s a good point. We will have to look into that.

*Prior to the creation of Infrastructure Planning and Facilities in January 2013, several IPF departments were a part of the now-dissolved MSU Physical Plant. Some historical articles on this website reference that former unit.

Meeting presentation

March 8, 2012 (PDF)