The ride up Chapel Drive provides one of the most iconic views on Duke's campus, but like many other University landmarks, the road is now closed for the summer due to construction.

Chapel Drive closed last Monday after commencement weekend and will remain closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles until Aug. 11 while extensive repairs and reconstruction occur. Pedestrians are being rerouted to Wannamaker Drive and Flowers Drive, and buses normally serving the West Campus bus stop will only take riders as far as the traffic circle at the end of Campus Drive.

"The aim is to have a structurally sound, smooth roadway," Project Manager Virginia Norton wrote in an email Thursday. "Chapel Drive was built on fill in the 1920s, and over the last 85 years the road base has deteriorated and needs to be replaced."

The project involves giving the road a new asphalt layer, as well as placing a new granite curb and a concrete sidewalk, Norton wrote.

This summer is the most convenient time to complete the approximately $1 million project because of the reduced traffic on the road and on campus, explained Executive Vice President Tallman Trask.

“[We are] doing it now because the Chapel, Perkins and West Union are all closed,” Trask said. “The amount of traffic needing to come into the quad is at an all-time low this summer.”

Although there are fewer people living and working on campus during the summer months, the construction could still have an impact on visitors. Sophomore Brian Lopez said he does not see the construction as much of an annoyance, though it does affect his role as a tour guide in showing visitors to the school around.

“All of the construction does take away from some of the beauty of the campus, which somewhat lowers the effectiveness of a tour and the impressive nature of the campus on any prospective student,” Lopez said.

Campus tours offered by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions are being rerouted through Flowers Drive and Wannamaker Drive instead of their usual route up Chapel Drive. Parking and Transportation Services is also offering to shuttle disabled travelers by bringing them to their final destination in golf carts when requested.