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Construction began today, March 29, at the intersection of Biggio Drive and West Samford Avenue to implement a major safety enhancement for pedestrians and cyclists crossing West Samford Avenue.

“The intersection of Biggio Drive and West Samford Avenue is a surprisingly busy intersection on campus and it is about to get busier,” said Ben Burmester, university transportation and site engineer. “It is also a unique intersection that features not only the crossing of two campus roads, but also two shared-use paths between the Parkerson Mill Creek Greenway and also the one following Samford Avenue.”

In 2020, the university completed the first phase of the Parkerson Mill Creek Greenway, a shared-use path following the creek and designed to accommodate non-motorized users, connecting campus to the new SportsPlex on Lem Morrison Drive.

The completed portion of the Greenway crosses West Samford Avenue at Biggio Drive adding additional crossings of West Samford Avenue, which already experienced a significant number of pedestrians crossing from the McWhorter Center and Intramural Fields to campus. Additionally, pedestrian crossings and overall activity is expected to increase at the intersection once the Football Performance Center is completed.

The intersection improvement project will install a protected intersection, an innovative intersection design that will be the first one in Alabama and one of just a few dozen in the United States. A protected intersection uses corner safety islands to effectively reduce the crosswalk distance, in this case by almost 40 percent on West Samford Avenue, and enhance pedestrian and cyclist visibility to motor vehicles. The intersection will remain a two-way stop controlled intersection on Biggio Drive and will include four activated flashing crosswalk warning signs on West Samford Avenue.

“The complex movements between road and path users and the existing long crosswalks prompted us to select the protected intersection as the design of choice for this location,” Burmester said.

Construction will take place in four phases as work takes place at each corner of the intersection. Commuters can expect lane shifts to take place on both Samford and Biggio during this time. The shared-use paths and crosswalks are to remain open, but will have detours based on the phasing.

Use caution when traveling in this area of campus during construction. It is scheduled for completion this summer.