Town Center West Reaches Important Milestone

Town Center West Concept Drawing

Town Center West (TCW), the project which will include an inn, a restaurant, and a campus and community store on the south edge of campus, has reached an important milestone, said Vice President for Finance and Administration Greg Brown in a message to the campus community. Inspired by Swarthmore Borough's Revitalization Plan and consistent with the College's mission, TCW will serve as a physical and social link between the Borough and the College, promoting collaboration, communication, and opportunities for intellectual engagement involving the entire community. 

One component of the project is a roundabout at the intersection of Rutgers Ave. and Chester Rd. Construction on Chester Road for the roundabout is scheduled to begin on Monday, Aug. 25th, and is expected to take place over the next several months. 

"During this time, traffic will be re-routed through the intersection and restricted as construction progresses, but at no time will Chester Rd. be completely closed," Brown said. "Lane adjustments and travel patterns will be clearly marked throughout all phases of the project, and access to businesses and residences on Chester Rd. and Station Square East will be maintained at all times, including routes for emergency vehicles."

Most of the roundabout construction will take place Monday throughFriday during daytime hours. However, some portions of the work, including the initial phase from approximately Aug. 25 to Sept. 12, will occur during nighttime hours (approximately 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.), as required by PennDOT to minimize the impact on Chester Road during peak travel periods. 

In addition, the stormwater management system for the roundabout is presently under construction near Palmer Residence Hall. This fall, the new softball field will be completed and the old field will be dismantled, to be replaced by a realigned Field House Lane, which will connect the roundabout with the existing road at the Service Building. Later this fall, student and staff parking at the lots on Field House Lane will be relocated west, to a new lot now under construction near the Field House Lane bridge over the tracks of SEPTA's Media-Elwyn line.

Brown noted that the roundabout construction received formal approval from PennDOT earlier this month and was the culmination of a process that included an examination of the potential impact of the TCW development on the intersection, including a comprehensive survey of the impact of the proposed changes on adjacent neighborhoods and traffic patterns. Based on this study it was determined that the construction of a roundabout would provide a new entry to the Borough's retail district that will enhance the experience for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
 
With an anticipated opening in 2016, Town Center West is being developed by Swarthmore College, working collaboratively with Swarthmore Borough, and is supported in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. TCW will be located adjacent to the athletic facilities and in close proximity to the train station and the center of Swarthmore Borough's retail district.