Van Buren Street, which is located across from the Rauch Business Center, will be closed starting this week through mid-November as a result of the construction of the new Lehigh University Police Department headquarters.
Erin Liston, the project manager, said Van Buren is tentatively scheduled to be closed until Nov. 15, but it is likely the road will be reopened before then.
“We’re trying to get the work done as quickly as possible to reopen it,” Liston said.
While Van Buren will still be accessible for pedestrians, the street is extremely tight and the close proximity between one of the edges of the new police station walls and the road is forcing workers to dig into the street, making the space too small for cars to pass through.
Liston said Van Buren will be closed from time to time throughout the duration of the construction, which is expected to be completed by April 2016, but this is the biggest shutdown that will occur. After November, the road will only be closed only during hours when construction workers are on site.
Lehigh Police Chief Ed Shupp said in an email that the street will be closed for safety reasons as the construction progresses. Shupp said all landlords, homeowners and residents were notified and that the appropriate permits were received from the city of Bethlehem.
Michelle Leon, ’16, lives on Van Buren and said she doesn’t think the street closing will have much of a negative impact on her or the other residents. However, she is not fond of the construction taking place.
“We are impacted by the construction literally every day,” Leon said. She said she is frequently woken up when the construction work starts at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays.