Loop Road to Disrupt Wet Lands

By Matthew Edsall

For anyone who lives in Cushing Village, you know how annoying it is to have to drive the entirety of campus in order to get to Padua or Hennepin Hall.  It seems that Siena is finally attempting to rectify this irritation, having made plans with the town of Colonie to install a loop road that will make getting to Spring Street much easier for townhouse residents.
The college was granted 1.3 million dollars in federal money in the fall of 2005 from Congressman Sweeney and Senator Clinton in order to begin the process of installing the road. The idea came about due to the administration’s concern over the high amount of traffic that has to continually twist and turn past Siena.
“Especially in the long winters here, the school is concerned about the high potential for accidents when the weather is bad,” said Paul Stec, Vice-President of financial affairs.
According to Stec, the road would most likely loop Spring Street behind the ARC and MAC and connect to the Clare Center. As of now, the design is being laid out.
“We hope to get the design done this year and then get the shovel in the ground next year,” said Stec.
A potential problem that the school needs to approach before starting construction is the issue of drainage. The land behind the MAC and next to the Clare Center needs to be surveyed carefully so as not to disrupt the drainage pipes which run underneath the campus.  With the consistent snow and rain that the campus accumulates, the administration wants to make sure that the road does not pose a bigger problem.
In addition, the construction of the loop road would seriously disrupt the wet lands behind the MAC.  The installation of the road would remove much of the wooded area around the exterior boundaries of the campus, which would effect much of the natural landscape around the college.  This has caused the road to receive much criticism from many students and professors on campus, particularly those in the Environmental Studies Department.
Though the classes of ’08 and ’09 will not be able to benefit, this year’s sophomores and freshmen will most likely get to use this special perk before they leave Siena.

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