BY WILL LYNCH
Early in the morning of Jan. 16, workers began assembling the pedestrian bridge that will link the campus to the $100 million Eagle Village project.
Route 1 between College Avenue and Alvey Drive was closed to traffic from 8 p.m. last Friday night to 5 a.m. on Monday morning, Jan. 18 to allow for construction.
On Saturday afternoon, Jeff Rountree, CEO of the UMW Foundation, took a small group of visitors up to a viewing area to watch the second portion of the bridge be lifted into place.
Among the visitors was Clyde Matthews, president of the College Heights Association.
“I just hope people use it,” Matthews said, as he and the other visitors watched the construction.
The entrances to the walkway on both sides will be “all grade and no steps,” Rountree said, meaning the bridge will be accessible to students with bicycles as well as handicapped individuals.
Community members will also be able to use the bridge to access the retail stores and restaurants that will be a part of Eagle Village by early September, Rountree said.
The construction of the 90-ton steel bridge, which is under contract to Donley’s Construction, lasted longer than expected due to rain on Sunday.
Although the construction kept the Route 1 side of College Avenue closed as well, it did not seem to cause a problem for students.
“I saw that the road would be closed at like eight o’clock at night so I knew it was happening, but I was still able to get to school without any problems when I needed to,” Elizabeth Crowe, a sophomore at UMW who lives off-campus, said.
The bridge is scheduled to be open to pedestrians by Labor Day weekend this year.
Eagle Village Showroom Opens
Just down the street from the bridge, a mock-up apartment of the Eagle Landing University Apartments opened.
Located at the corner of the Park N’ Shop next to the Dollar General, the mock-up is an exact model of what every room in Eagle Landing will look like. The model, which was built for public relations reasons and to generate excitement among the students about Eagle Landing, also served as a training exercise.
Electricians, engineers, contractors and others who will work on the Eagle Landing job site were required to practice on the model apartment. The UMW Foundation monitored and inspected the work every step of the way.
“We wanted to work out all of the kinks, as well as make sure that every aspect was exactly the way we wanted it,” Rountree said, as he walked a small number of visitors from the bridge through the model apartment.
The model is completely furnished as the apartments will be and includes all of the appliances as well.
Living rooms will include a couch, two fully upholstered armchairs, a coffee table, an end table and an entertainment center. The kitchens will be equipped with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and a breakfast bar with stools.
Bedrooms will have two beds that can be lofted or bunked, dressers, desks, and desk chairs. Each unit has two bedrooms as well as two full bathrooms. Eagle Landing will also be the first student housing building in the country to have Fios capabilities.
The mock-up is fully visible through an outside window, and will be open to student and public tours next weekend.
Other construction developments in Eagle Village are moving along as scheduled, Rountree said, with the recent completion of the 550-car parking deck.
The covered deck is attached to the back of the office building right next to the Eagle Landing Apartments. The lower level of the building is also where several 60-foot bays for restaurant and retail stores have just been built.
The deck will provide assigned parking for the student residents of Eagle Landing as well as parking for the offices, retail customers and restaurant diners.
Rountree said the official ribbon cutting ceremony for Eagle Village is slated to be July 16.