Navigating to Memorial Stadium on gamedays will be a little different after the recent renovation of the Memorial Loop.
The NU Board of Regents approved the project last August to remove the loop east of Memorial Stadium. Vine Street, between East Stadium Plaza and 14th Street, was replaced with a roadway that allows traffic to flow in both directions.
“(The area) had been a brick road,” said Brooke Hay, director of University of Nebraska-Lincoln Facilities Planning and Construction. “There were a lot of safety and maintaining concerns. That was a reason why we had to take a closer look at the area.”
The project cost just more than $2.5 million. It was finished Aug. 17, just in time for the football season.
The renovation will help reduce traffic on U Street, Hay said. There is now perpendicular parking along Vine Street. The number, and width, of parking spaces increased.
The Vine Street renovation is only the first phase of the regents’ plans.
The original $12 million project includes the renovation of Lot 12, which is between Vine and U streets. In the second phase, Lot 12 will be replaced with a green, reinforced turf space and pedestrian walkways. Visitors will be able to drive up onto the turf to tailgate.
The construction of the green space hasn’t started because of lack of funds. The university is trying to raise money in order for the rest of the project to begin next year.
For now, some Husker fans can expect to park as usual in Lot 12 and on the widened Vine Street.
“We’re hopeful (the rest of the project) will move soon, but money is tight, so it will be a matter of time,” Hay said. “Budgets are being carefully considered right now, which they need to be. We have a lot of generous donors, so there will be a lot of opportunity for anyone who wants to make that contribution.”