Brick delay: Brick path reaches Corner

How many months does it take to build a 300-foot brick walkway? At UVA, near Brooks Hall along University Avenue, it took about three months and nearly $100,000.

But if students and residents grew weary of construction crews near the Rotunda, they may like the result. The walk replaces asphalt pavement that offended a student's father.

"He just thought, 'Why is this asphalt pathway in the middle of the Central Grounds?'" says UVA spokesperson Carol Wood. "And that got the conversation started."

That conversation ended up with an $85,000 budget with the funds split among the student's parents, a university committee, and UVA.

When visiting their son, a third-year, alumnus Kenneth Reid noticed the original asphalt in the "highly visible area" outside Brooks Hall. Reid and his wife, Frances, donated $35,000.

The Walter M. Seward Fund, part of the University Arboretum & Landscape Committee, matched the gift, allotting $25,000 to replace the asphalt path with brick. The remaining $25,000 came from UVA's facilities budget, Wood says.

Wood says the first time the walk was laid– in July– the original concrete base for the brick was done wrong. She says she doesn't know the name of the original contractor or whether that company had to absorb the cost of the mistake.

The University brought in another contractor with heavy-duty machinery to pulverize the new path and start again from scratch. The thick concrete underlayment is standard for brick walkways at the University– five inches are needed to support utility vehicles and pedestrians, Wood says.

Students began to use the walkway before the yellow "don't cross me" tapes came down on Saturday, October 22, after some final grading and seeding.

On July 26, the new contractor was smashing an inadequate concrete base.

On September 30, Miguel Mateo, left, and Antonio Escodedo laid brick over the redone concrete.