The Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents approved a $25.7 million utility-and-infrastructure improvements project for Tarleton State University’s  Stephenville campus during its regular meeting April 27.

The project is part of the university’s Fiscal Year 2016-2020 Capital Plan approved last fall by the Board of Regents.

The infrastructure project addresses wet and dry utilities, including moving power lines along the closed portions of Lillian and Vanderbilt streets from overhead to below ground and installing adequate storm water drainage. Currently, large amounts of surface storm water pool along the closed portion of Vanderbilt Street during heavy rains.

Overhead power lines will be replaced, upgraded and installed underground to accommodate a growing physical plant on the Stephenville campus and avoid electrical outages.

In addition, the project will improve campus walkways and rehabilitate closed portions of Lillian and Vanderbilt streets into pedestrian malls.

“These improvements will solve many of the challenges indicative of an aging infrastructure, while connecting the four distinct quadrants of the historic Stephenville campus,” said Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio.

Construction is set to begin in June with substantial completion expected by late summer 2017.

Tarleton, with approval from the Board of Regents, announced in February that the pedestrian mall replacing Vanderbilt Street will become known as Rudder Way, honoring Gen. James Earl Rudder, one of the U.S. Army’s most decorated soldiers in World War II and past president of Texas A&M.

Rudder attended John Tarleton Agricultural College in 1928 and 1929 before completing his bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M. He returned to Tarleton as the head football coach and an instructor in 1938, leaving in 1941 when called to active duty as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.