The University is facing roadblocks — literal and figurative — in the ongoing construction of the Law School’s new South Hall.
Though the University originally anticipated submitting a final plan for the pedestrian mall to the Ann Arbor Planning Commission by the end of 2010, a plan has yet to be submitted for approval.
With an estimated budget of $3 million, the mall would connect the Law School and South Hall while also providing a public right-of-way area similar to the Diag and Ingalls Mall. Construction on South Hall is slated to be completed in 2012.
Jim Kosteva, the University’s director of community relations, said University and city officials are currently negotiating construction plans for the pedestrian mall.
“There is no update regarding University interests in Monroe Street,” Kosteva said. “The city and the University are still in extensive discussions regarding the utilization of each other’s property from time to time.”
If the city approves construction of the mall, regulation of the area would be transferred from the city to the University.
Preliminary negotiations between the city and the University revealed potential water main issues with the construction of a pedestrian mall. The pending construction would cut off the water supply to some city buildings surrounding Monroe Street, but the University has agreed to install another water main to fix this potential problem.
Connie Pulcipher, a systems planner for the city of Ann Arbor, said the city and University are working to solve the issues involved with the use of the property.
“It’s mostly discussions between the city and the University involving the legal issues right now,” Pulcipher said.
Construction on the pedestrian mall won’t begin until these issues have been resolved, Pulcipher said. She added that she isn’t sure how long it will take for the city and the University to come to an agreement but said this mutual understanding must be attained before proceeding.
“We need to reach some sort of consensus,” Pulcipher said. “We don’t know where the University stands on that, and they probably don’t know where we stand, and so we’re working together on those issues.”