Donaghey Avenue is one of the busiest roads in Conway during the school year.
It transports college students and faculty, along with commuters who want to avoid traffic on the main road.
When construction began back in 2020, it was confusing as to why the city would start a major construction project on a popular strip like Donaghey, mid-semester, as if traffic isn’t heavy in that area.
Being a resident on campus last fall became a decision most students regretted.
Construction inconveniences happened on a daily basis. Specific entrances onto campus were blocked off. Side streets that led to on-campus housing were closed.
We, as students, couldn’t access the little bit of sidewalk we had due to large equipment occupying the area.
Throughout the spring semester, I noticed that workers and students started to find a way to work around one another. People were driving their way around the big orange cones that led from one side of campus to the other.
Eventually, as the semester came to an end, the overall big picture of the project came into view as sidewalks were paved and lanes started to straighten out.
However, construction was ongoing as finals came around.
Fast forward to the first traditional semester, or what is trying to be since the pandemic started, Donaghey has an interesting new look.
The question is, was it worth all the hassle and frustrations we as students and faculty had to endure for that long period of time?
Let’s evaluate. Some of the renovations include sidewalks, a traffic light in front of the College of Business and a few new crosswalks distributed throughout the avenue.
Students and faculty were provided with smooth, consistent sidewalks on both sides of the street.
Compared to last year, there is now no longer a need to walk through the grass and dirt in the areas where concrete has not been paved.
There is a lot designated for student parking across the street from the College of Business.
The traffic light seems to be a good addition because foot traffic is heavy in that area. It seems to attract a larger number of students that cross the street at once compared to last year when students would risk their lives jaywalking in between every other car.
A bike lane was added down the strip. Bikers can now cycle at their own grace without having to slow down or cut around students strolling along the sidewalks. Both sides of the street are now biker friendly.
Overall, last year’s setbacks with construction made campus more enjoyable.
Students and faculty were provided with resources that contribute to their safety and accessibility.
All the complaining and frustration people encountered in their morning pursuits to campus last year were not fun at the time but now linger with appreciation for easier navigation.
The major road construction has moved beyond UCA.