Prospect St. bridge reopens

After a two-year construction project riddled with delays, the Prospect Street bridge reopened for traffic Thursday.

While one lane of the bridge has been open since August to allow access to the new Yale HEALTH building on Lock Street, only pedestrians and bikes have been allowed across the Prospect Street bridge since January 2010. Reopening the bridge clears the way for Yale Transit to resume shuttle services up Prospect Street, which have been rerouted since May 2009 to their regular routes.

Because alternative routes back from Science Hill took longer than the original routes, the Yale College Dean’s Office had moved 9:25 am classes back to 9:20 am for the past two years. University Registrar Jill Carlton said in an e-mail Thursday night that the Dean’s Office would meet soon to decide whether or not to revert to the old class times.

Manager of Parking and Transit Edwin Bebyn said in an e-mail that the Blue Line would revert back to its former route — turning from College Street and proceeding all the way up Prospect Street — starting Thursday evening.

Starting Friday, the daytime Orange Line route, which had been diverted up Whitney Avenue from the intersection of Wall and Church Street, will follow College Street and Prospect Street until turning right on Sachem. Buses will then continue along their regular Whitney Avenue route, Bebyn said, adding that the Red, Yellow and night Orange routes will not be affected.

“My guess is that we will go back to the standard meeting times if there are no continuing road closures that prevent the shuttle buses from following their normal routes,” she said.

All nine students interviewed at the bus stop on Wall Street and College Street reacted positively to the news.

Sam Martin ’14, who regularly takes the Blue Line up to Science Hill, said the road opening comes just in time for the colder weather.

“Being a freshman, I’ve never known it any other way,” he said. “But if it saves time, that’s great news.”

But the prospect of having class start and end five minutes later did not excite Brent Muller ’10, who said he does not think the slightly shorter bus times would help students get to classes in time more comfortably, particularly if they have to travel to Linsly-Chittenden Hall or the Architecture Building from Science Hill.

Though Prospect Street is now clear for traffic, not all streets are open yet. Director of Support Services Donald Relihan said the City of New Haven had advised him Trumbull Street would remain closed between Hillhouse Avenue and in Sept. 2009, officials predicted that work on the 90-year-old bridge would end in Dec. 2009, though the projected end-date was “mid-2010” when construction began in the summer of 2009.

After November, Relihan said, Canal Street will reopen as a two-way street.

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