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Esplanade Construction to Start Monday

Demolition of houses, grading work scheduled to start

Construction on Kent State University's Esplanade, the pathway that will link campus to downtown Kent, is scheduled to start Monday.

Kent State spokesperson Emily Vincent said the work will include excavation of Erie Street, tearing down house plus relocating underground utilities.

"And spreading the stockpiled soil (that is currently on the north side of Erie Street) to raise the grade for the new esplanade extension," she said in an email.

The wide, sweeping pedestrian pathway will link the campus to the major redevelopment projects under way downtown, including the new .

The Esplanade extension will travel directly west from the atrium of the to Haymaker Parkway, where it will meet a new stop light at the intersection of Erie Street, the new Kent State hotel and 's Kent Central Gateway.

"You will be looking at Franklin Hall when you walk out of the hotel," Kent State University President Lester Lefton told Kent State trustees in June. "There will be this big, park-like setting with tall gates that read 'Kent State University' on them."

The project has been  as the university bought properties in the neighborhood so its on-campus leg of The Portage Hike and Bike Trail could link to downtown Kent.

The university spent more than $8 million buying land in the neighborhood west of campus since 2007.

As of early June, the university owned 33 properties in the neighborhood that have been bought in the past five years. Seven more properties were pending transfer of ownership to the university or state approval for the expenses. 

Matt Fredmonsky August 08, 2012 at 08:36 PM
There will be no aerial walkways over any of the downtown streets as a result of the Esplanade project.
Colleen Thorndike August 08, 2012 at 08:48 PM
so, what you're saying is whoever planned this project has never attempted to walk across Haymaker. Because if they had, there would be an aerial walkway (much cooler sounding than pedestrian bridge).
Matt Fredmonsky August 08, 2012 at 08:54 PM
I didn't say that, but I do agree that had the costs not prohibited it some kind of aerial walkway or pedestrian bridge would have been great for crossing Haymaker Parkway.
Barbara Myers August 10, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Old or disabled people had better not try to cross Haymaker, even when the "walk" icon is showing. Barbara Myers
Fred Pierre August 17, 2012 at 04:29 PM
During the school year, hundreds of students cross 59 every day to visit our local eateries and watering holes. This well-marked crossing should improve your chances of survival!

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