Glidden Cleanup Expected Three Weeks After Waterline Break

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ATHENS, Ohio -The sidewalk between Jeff Hill and Ohio University’s Glidden Hall that has been closed for a little over three weeks, is expected to reopen by Sunday.

What some students thought was a “mudslide,” was actually the result of a waterline break.  The mound of dirt and mud have been blocking the pathway ever since the waterline was fixed.

Mud is piled up under Glidden Hall

Steve Mack of Ohio University Facilities Management said the area is almost ready to be reopened.

But the reopening could be delayed once again as rain is in the forecast for the rest of the week.  According to the National Weather Service, Athens is expected to get one to two inches of rain Thursday night, and between a quarter and half  an inch is possible Friday.

“We may have to shut it back down if we can’t address the standing water issue on the sidewalks and we drop below freezing again,” he said.

Track marks from the water line repair as seen from above.

Mack said after the excavation work to fix the waterline was completed on January 20th, the area was too wet to cleanup right away.

“We’ve actually been hoping we would get some weather breaks here in the next couple of weeks to let that stuff dry out but that hasn’t been the case,” Mack said.

He said the larger-scale cleanup will happen later.

“We have to wait until that soil dries substantially before we can really get the place finished off and get it back to the way it was,” he said.

A Muddy Inconvenience

Muddy puddles cover the sidewalks.

On Wednesday, the fencing and caution tape remained up.  Students and faculty heading to class are forced to take the long way around Glidden.

Aunjela Latham, a student studying publications’ design, said at first she didn’t know why they gated the area off.  She said she had to make an adjustment that added time to her walk to class.   

“I had to learn a whole new way,” she said.

And Latham was not alone.  Other students like Johnathen Sweeney pass through Glidden as a shortcut uptown.

“Usually when I don’t want to go up the hill, I’ll take the [Glidden Hall] elevator up,” Sweeney said.  He said he uses the elevator as part of his commute to his other classes in Schoonover Center and Seigfred Hall.

Mack said costs for the more extensive cleanup in the coming weeks include paying for equipment operators to haul away dirt, and fix the landscaping behind Glidden.