Topic: Administrative

March 13, 2009

Ball State University received a major boost as Congress approved $950,000 to begin work on the third phase of the McKinley-Riverside Avenues Safety Improvement Project.

The funds for the project were championed by U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and included in the recently passed omnibus appropriations bill. President Obama signed the bill into law on March 11. The McKinley-Riverside project, authorized by Congress in 1998, has already had a major impact on the safety of Ball State's central corridors.

"This important project does more than enhance the campus; it improves the safety of our main thoroughfare," Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora said. "The infusion of funds puts completion of the project within reach. We appreciate Sen. Lugar's ongoing support of Ball State."

The first and second phases of the project were completed in 2006 and included reconstruction of McKinley Avenue between Riverside and Bethel avenues at a total cost of $10.68 million. Along with improving the safety of Ball State's main corridors, the first phases also earned multiple state honors.

The project's third phase is estimated to cost $6.4 million and will address reconstruction of McKinley between Riverside and University avenues and reconstruction of Riverside Avenue between Meadow Lane and Dicks Street. University officials are hoping to secure economic stimulus dollars from the Indiana Department of Transportation to defray the cost of the project.