Construction Update, June 2018

Traffic has been diverted to facilitate construction of the new Student Recreation Center. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)
Traffic has been diverted to facilitate construction of the new Student Recreation Center. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

The bad news for June is that construction is still widespread at UConn Storrs, as are the related delays and detours.

The good news is that you’ll get a chance to enjoy views of the vibrant campus landscapes while you’re following those detours.

While pedestrian and vehicle traffic dropped at Storrs after Commencement Weekend in May, it’s picking up again and will return to a brisk pace this month as people come and go for new student orientation, conferences, and summer camp programs.

The multi-year project to upgrade UConn’s aging underground infrastructure continues, with underground pipes carrying water, steam, and other utilities being replaced at various spots, particularly on North Eagleville Road.

Additional excavation is also underway to extend utilities to buildings under construction (notably the new Student Recreation Center), to sites where others are planned in coming years (including to the Northwest Science Quad, with its planned science building and supplemental utility plant), and to modernize and repair existing services in the heritage district of campus at Koons Hall, Family Studies, and Manchester Hall.

The University started this monthly series earlier this year to update students, faculty, and staff about the status of significant projects, and to help them anticipate changes in traffic and pedestrian patterns.

University Communications and the Office of University Planning, Design, & Construction also post regular updates at uconn.edu/construction to show where significant construction activity is occurring, to identify potential traffic impacts and delays, and to provide additional information about construction projects.

Hillside Road

The portion of Hillside Road between Glenbrook and Gilbert roads remains closed this month as crews do utility work near Jim Calhoun Way to provide additional infrastructure to the new Student Recreation Center currently under construction.

Some crosswalk patterns are changing this month at the intersection of Jim Calhoun Way and Hillside Road. People previously crossed Jim Calhoun Way to walk along the west side of Hillside in front of Gampel Pavilion. Beginning the second week of June, though, the sidewalk will reopen in front of the Rec Center site and people can walk on Hillside Road’s eastern portion, closer to the School of Business building.

Hillside’s closure has temporarily eliminated the most commonly used north-south route through campus, so people have been learning to use Route 195, Bolton Road, or Alumni Drive, depending on their destination.

Construction vehicles remain under special instructions to avoid all residential areas around campus, and to enter on Bolton Road via Route 195 and Discovery Drive via Route 44.

The UConn Bookstore remains open for its regular operations and the special summer events it hosts, including those during orientation sessions. Its customers are encouraged to park in South Garage and enter the store on its second floor.

The North and South Parking Garages are also open and accessible throughout the summer, and restricted vehicular access is permitted in special circumstances upon request to McMahon Residence Hall, Greer Field House, and the Student Union.  Additional restricted access to the UConn Bookstore loading area from Hillside Road is expected to open by mid-June.

Otherwise, all traffic that normally would use that portion of Hillside Road is being detoured away from the site until it reopens in mid- to late August. Jim Calhoun Way also has no access to Hillside Road, and clearly marked detours will be in place.

In a project that is nearby but not related, crews recently mobilized to build a parking lot in the area behind Gampel Pavilion and Wolff-Zackin Natatorium, adjacent to the Sherman Family Sports Complex and its track, field, and other outdoor amenities. Travel through the Gampel Service Drive will be restricted after infrastructure work between the Champions Center and Gampel Pavilion is completed in late June.

The new parking lot is expected to be open for at least half of its capacity by the beginning of the fall semester, and completed by October.

North Eagleville Road

This major east-west road remains open to one-way, eastbound local traffic between Discovery Drive and Glenbrook Road until mid-August. Vehicles entering campus from Route 195 are detoured left onto Glenbrook and cannot proceed on North Eagleville westbound.

The infrastucture replacement project on North Eagleville was complicated last summer by the discovery of significantly more underground rock than anticipated, pushing the roadwork into this summer. If all stays on schedule, the final work to pave and seal the road should occur this fall.

Related to the project, pedestrians should expect some pockets of disturbance on sidewalks near the North and Northwest Residence Hall complexes during June as crews work in those spots, and drivers should follow the guidance of police or other traffic guards on site to know which driveways are accessible.

The entry driveway at North Campus had been closed in May, but is expected to reopen in June; at the same time, the driveway entering Northwest is slated to close temporarily starting this month.

Also of note for June:

  • Alumni Drive is scheduled to be resurfaced in mid to late June. Traffic patterns will be maintained in both directions using a single alternating lane.
  • In addition to the added vehicles and pedestrians on campus for orientation and summer camps, expect additional traffic by late afternoon on Monday, June 19, for E.O. Smith High School’s commencement in the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts; and the early afternoon on Monday, June 11, for the public dedication of the new Engineering & Science Building.
  • Auditorium Road and Extension remain closed to vehicle traffic, with exceptions only for construction, service, and emergency vehicles.
  • Coventry Road remains closed to traffic at Maple Lane near the Louis J. von der Mehden Recital Hall, with access allowed only for construction, service, and emergency vehicles.
  • Jorgensen Road and Whitney Road are open to local traffic only. On Jorgensen Road, an accessible drop-off area is available for events at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre in the Jorgensen Center. At Whitney Road, on-street parking reductions near the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center continue.