August is set to be a month of significant change at UConn Storrs as students return in droves and construction equipment, while not disappearing entirely, will leave some finished projects and start work in other locations.
Notably, Hillside Road will reopen mid-month between the Student Union and UConn Bookstore, where it has been closed to all traffic since mid-May. About a week later, North Eagleville Road will return to two-way travel between Route 195 and Discovery Drive.
While those projects are in the home stretch, UConn will start preparing for utility upgrades in what’s known as the University Athletics District, along Alumni Drive near the baseball, softball, and hockey facilities.
In addition to sharing information through this monthly construction update, University Communications and the Office of University Planning, Design, and Construction also post regular updates at uconn.edu/construction.
Those updates show where significant construction activity is occurring, identify potential traffic impacts and delays, and provide additional information about construction projects.
More than 12,000 students will start moving into their residence halls at UConn Storrs later this month, with some pre-approved early arrivals trickling in within the next several weeks.
About 4,200 students participating in specific programs will move in at various times between Aug. 17 and 23. However, the bulk will arrive for freshman move-in day on Aug. 24, and on the following Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25 and 26, when the rest of the students will arrive.
The influx of students will prompt large amounts of traffic on each day and changes in some traffic patterns around residence halls, so drivers and pedestrians are advised to be particularly cautious and patient.
Specifics on traffic restrictions and staged check-in areas for specific residence hall complexes are provided on the UConn Office of Residential Life’s arrival information website. They are also being sent directly to students, and signs will be posted that apply to the various residential areas.
That office has mapped out the best paths to take to each residential area to help alleviate congestion and get people to their destinations sooner. The University also is reminding drivers that they should not rely on GPS, because those mapping services will not reflect traffic patterns and detours caused by construction and move-in schedules.
The portion of Hillside Road between Glenbrook and Gilbert roads remains closed through Aug. 17. It’s on target to reopen for the academic year by Aug. 18, as crews finish utility work near Jim Calhoun Way, which is being done to provide additional infrastructure to the new Student Recreation Center that is currently under construction.
Hillside’s closure has temporarily eliminated the most commonly used north-south route through campus, so until Aug. 18, drivers are encouraged to keep using Route 195, Bolton Road, or Alumni Drive, depending on their destination.
The North and South Parking Garages are also open and accessible throughout the summer, and during the days before Hillside’s full reopening on Aug. 18, restricted vehicular access will be permitted in special circumstances upon request to McMahon Residence Hall, Greer Field House, and the Student Union.
Jim Calhoun Way near Hillside Road, including the intersection in front of the UConn Bookstore, will also reopen when Hillside returns to normal traffic patterns.
Work also continues on a parking lot that is being built behind Gampel Pavilion and Wolff-Zackin Natatorium, adjacent to the Sherman Family Sports Complex and its track, field, and other outdoor amenities. The lot will have about 100 spaces when fully completed this fall, and is expected to have many of those spaces accessible by the beginning of the academic year.
North Eagleville Road
This major east-west road, currently open one way to eastbound traffic between Discovery Drive and Glenbrook Road, is on track to reopen in both directions prior to freshman move-in on Aug. 24.
Crews have been working all summer to replace underground infrastructure along North Eagleville Road, one of several phases of work over the past few years, to address problems with the aging pipes that carry water, steam, and other utilities across campus.
Vehicles entering campus from Route 195 are currently detoured left onto Glenbrook and cannot proceed westbound on North Eagleville. That will continue to be the case until the road reopens to two-way traffic later this month, with periodic delays and potential closures at Glenbrook Road as crews work on improvements to the median.
By Aug. 24, two new traffic patterns will be established: Inbound traffic on North Eagleville Road from Route 195 will continue straight and will no longer be allowed to turn left onto Glenbrook. Also, outbound traffic on Glenbrook will be permitted right turns onto North Eagleville only.
Although North Eagleville Road will reopen to regular two-way traffic near the end of the month, drivers and pedestrians can expect to see work continue on the landscaping and a final layer of road pavement will be laid by Thanksgiving recess..
Also of note for August:
- A short segment of Alumni Drive near the softball complex and track and field throwing facilities will experience one-way alternating daytime traffic beginning prior to move-in, as crews prepare to modernize and upgrade various aging infrastructure on the southwest side of campus.
- Those infrastructure improvements will eventually expand to Jim Calhoun Way during the fall semester, creating road closures and affecting normal traffic circulation through 2020, as other improvements are made to the athletic district’s competition and training facilities. More details will be shared in future updates on UConn Today and at edu/construction.
- Auditorium Road and Extension had been closed to vehicle traffic in recent months – with exceptions only for construction, service, and emergency vehicles – but are scheduled to fully reopen by Aug 24.
- Construction near the Koons, Manchester, and Family Studies buildings in central campus will conclude prior to the Aug. 24 freshman move-in, and pedestrian detours around closed walkways in the area will reopen.
- Coventry Road remains closed to traffic at Maple Lane approaching the Fine Arts Complex, as construction of a new production facility and infrastructure improvements in the area continue. Access to Coventry Road is permitted only for construction, service, and emergency vehicles.
- Whitney Road remains open to local traffic only, with on-street parking available near the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.