Loras Acquires Portion of Cox Street

Loras plans to close from Loras Boulevard to West 17th Street to make the area safer and more inviting

Loras College is making progress with development plans to improve the institution. The Dubuque City Council recently agreed to allow Loras to purchase a portion of Cox Street from the City for $50,000.

Cox Street runs through the center of the Loras campus, making the area a heavily utilized crossing by students, faculty, staff and guests to the College. “It is important for Loras to own and close Cox Street to through traffic to create a safe and inviting connector between upper and lower campus,” said Sue Hafkemeyer, director of communication. The street is one of the busiest pedestrian areas on campus and it is estimated that there are at least 10,000 pedestrian crossings each day. Loras plans to close the portion of the street that runs from Loras Boulevard to West 17th Street to make the area safer and more inviting for the campus community and visitors.  
Acquiring Cox Street from the City allows Loras to move forward with plans to create an even more attractive residential, pedestrian campus. Renovation of this area of Cox Street will create an inviting plaza. A streetscape with decorative concrete, trees, shrubbery and flowers as well as a fountain and other decorative elements will create a sense of place that is inviting for students, faculty, staff and visitors to come and enjoy, as well as to cross safely. The closing of Cox Street to traffic and renovation to a pedestrian plaza will also help advance  other long-term campus plans, including expanding the bookstore, moving the physical plant and creating a more accessible retail space.

While the closing of Cox Street may inconvenience some of the neighboring residents, the Dubuque City Council voted unanimously to support Loras College’s request to close the street because they felt that the long-term economic benefits of the decision were important for the community. “The City felt that the College plays a key role in economic development and wants to help provide the tools needed for Loras to be successful long term,” explained Hafkemeyer.

In addition to being financially responsible for the reconstruction of the street, Loras will take ownership of the 20-foot-high retaining wall that lines its western edge. Now that the street has been successfully acquired, College officials will begin to formulate a timeline for renovation plans.

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