Since the start of the semester, Diamond Street has been part of a series of increased construction that has disrupted the neighborhood and traffic. Originally intended to finish during the summer months, when most students are not on Main Campus, the project has spilled into the Fall 2014 semester.
Philadelphia Water Department spokesperson John DiGiulio said the work on Diamond Street is being done to replace the water main and sewer pipes on each block of Diamond Street from Broad to 11th streets.
“Diamond [Street] will be closed block by block as the water relay and sewer reconstruction progresses,” DiGiulio said in an email.
The construction has not been without its annoyances to those living in the area.
“They shut our water off for one day, [from] 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.,” said Charlie Cappelli, a senior management information systems major who lives on the 1400 block of Diamond Street. “At 8 a.m. this morning, it was so loud. It’s been really loud.”
A resident of the 1400 block of Diamond Street, Lindsey Shrefler, who is not a Temple student, said she had her water turned off one day and has been bothered by the noise.
“We woke up to the jackhammer,” said Shrefler. “The building was shaking one day. It felt like an earthquake.”
Students in the area said they were unaware of why the construction was occurring.
“Why is this happening?” said Ellis Holmes, a senior finance major. “I honestly do not understand why they’re doing this construction.”
The Water Department said it scheduled the work to avoid students being in school during this time.
“The initiation of this project was scheduled to have the least amount of impact to the affected residents and to minimize work while school was in session,” DiGiulio said. “Work started in May after school let out for the summer.”
DiGiulio said the construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of November. Road closings are expected for each block set to be completed, so they can be paved over by the Streets Department.
Numerous other projects on Main Campus occurred during the summer as well. The city repaved 13th street, between Cecil B. Moore Avenue and Diamond Street, during the summer and finished before the fall semester began.
Similarly, the streets department constructed the bases for light poles along North Broad Street stretching from Spring Garden Street to Glenwood Avenue. A representative from the Streets department told The Temple News in August that they will work on other parts of the project while student activity is high.
The lighting project will include trees planted along the sidewalks during the spring and fall semesters.
Early last month, city crews working on North Broad Street inadvertently cut power to six university buildings. Power was restored by Facilities Management crews later that day.
Christian Matozzocan be reached at email@example.com