Cannon Center Path reopens after nearly a year of closure

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The Cannon Center Path leads from the Commons at the Cannon Center to the main part of campus. The path was closed for almost a year due to underground maintenance work. (Emma Butler)

The Cannon Center Path reopened Monday, Aug. 14 after almost a year of closure, according to the BYU director of construction, Troy Burdette.

This walkway runs between the Commons at the Cannon Center, past the N. Eldon Tanner Building and onto main campus. It serves as the most direct path to campus for students living in Helaman Halls and those coming from the Cannon Center. 

Burdette said the path was closed for underground maintenance work and has no new visible additions, except for two new seating areas alongside the path. Additionally, the path was repaved and widened. 

“Nothing too exciting or new … the students are probably just excited to have their path back,” Burdette said. 

According to Burdette, BYU construction closed off the route to pedestrians completely during the maintenance work because the ground was completely opened up with pipes exposed. 

BYU freshman Madison Tall lives in Helaman Halls and uses the newly reopened Cannon Center Path to get to campus. She said that before the path reopened, she would walk around and enter campus by the Joseph F. Smith Building. 

“It would add a lot of time, so this definitely takes off a lot of time for my commute,” Tall said. 

Keith Gonzales, an employee at BYU Enrollment Services, uses the path to go to the Cannon Center for lunch. According to Gonzales, the reopened path shaves a few minutes off of the walk from the Wilkinson Center to the Cannon. 

“This way, I don’t have to wait at the crosswalk,” he said.

Gonzales said that before its reopening, a makeshift set of stairs going down the side of the hill from Campus Drive to the Commons was provided. 

During its closure, a fence blocks the entrance to the Cannon Center Path and signs point to a set of makeshift stairs. Pedestrians were encouraged to use this route in place of the path while it was closed. (Photo courtesy of Marah Gibbs)

Pedestrians accessed the alternate route by crossing the intersection of Campus Drive and 450 East and following the sidewalk to the stairs, according to Gonzales. 

BYU student Marah Gibbs said she lived in Helaman Halls during the year that the walkway was closed. 

Gibbs said she and her friends would either use the alternate pedestrian route with the temporary stairs, or go around the other side of the construction and walk to campus through the Tanner building. 

Gibbs and her friends would each take different routes and race to see who would get to class faster. She said going up the stairs to the intersection was faster, but that going through the Tanner building was warmer and she preferred that route during colder months. 

“No matter what you did, you had to go up a bunch of stairs,” Gibbs said. 

While various construction projects such as the walking path may cause temporary inconvenience, Gibbs believes that the end result is worth the time that they take. She said she looks forward to the completion of the library construction

Gonzales said the various construction projects on campus will be well worth the wait. 

“I think they’re momentarily a little bit, of course, inconvenient, but I think they’ll be good in the end,” he said.

Gonzales said it’s important that older infrastructure is replaced and updated. 

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