Underpass Reopen After Collapse

Underpass Will Re-open After Recent Collapse

The underpass tunnel that crosses over cedar avenue collapsed on Sunday April 16 and was discovered at 12:55 p.m. by a Residence Assistant (RA). There were no injuries and no one was in the underpass when the incident occurred.

The Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD) responded and notified Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, of the situation. Swannack was called and advised MUPD to close the underpass until they could assess the damage. The Facilities Management staff came in and removed the pieces that had fallen after its closure.

The underpass was closed from Sunday to Tuesday April 18 and during its closure the University placed a Safety Officer at the corner of Norwood and Cedar Avenue to assist pedestrians from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The underpass is expected to reopen the morning of Wednesday April 19, according to Swannack.

“The collapse has been a big inconvenience as it has increased my travel time to class by at least 10-15 minutes,” said Angela Ramos, senior communication student and Maplewood Hall RA. “I am glad that the school has placed cross guards there as every time I have gone to class they have been present,” said Ramos.

“I live in Redwood Hall, which is pretty far from the academics side regardless, but the underpass being closed down has a huge effect on my walk to class,” said Aja Armstrong, sophomore music industry student. “Normally I would leave 15 minutes before class to get there on time, but now I have to leave almost 20/25 minutes early,” she said.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) built the underpass in 2002. “They built it so that students, employees, and visitors could cross Route 71 safely. The University used to have Crossing Guards stationed from early morning to late evening to cross students. The University encouraged the DOT to review the traffic and pedestrian traffic flow at the walkway that existed prior to the Underpass. The DOT agreed that the large number of pedestrians crossing the street was a significant conflict with vehicular traffic on Route 71 and ultimately determined that an underpass was the best solution,” said Swannack.

The damage should not cost the University anything, according to Swannack, as the contractor should be responsible for any and all costs associated with the collapse.

PHOTO TAKEN by Jamilah McMillan