WHO: Texas A&M University and System officials
WHAT: will commemorate the opening of the Wellborn Road Grade Separation Project, also known as the Wellborn Passageway, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
WHEN: Friday (Oct. 18) at 9 a.m.
WHERE: near the southwest corner of the Albritton Bell Tower.
Texas A&M Transportation Services officials said safety and efficiency for students, faculty, staff and visitors traveling between the main portion of the Texas A&M campus and its newer western area is being enhanced with the opening of the grade separation at Old Main Drive and Wellborn Road.
It is similar in concept to the underpass at Wellborn and University Drive, and allows for vehicular traffic as well as for walkers and bikers.
The new thoroughfare project was approved in May 2011 by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents and built by McCarthy Construction.
University officials said the $34 million project was supported by a $23.8 million federal grant. Peter Lange, executive director for Transportation Services, said that, among other benefits, the project will alleviate the flow of university bus traffic that runs over Wellborn Road and the adjacent Union Pacific Corp. railroad tracks approximately 417 times daily. The plans for the project date back to the 2003 campus master plan.
"It will be a significant improvement in the efficiency of our on-campus transit service as the passageway provides non-stop, cross-campus access that avoids stoppages caused by the railroad tracks and traffic lights," Lange said.
The Friday morning ribbon-cutting program will include remarks by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp and Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin.
A video showing a rendering of the completed project can be viewed at