Construction Update, July 2019

Construction at the intersection of Horsebarn Hill Road Extension and Route 195, near the Dairy Bar. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)
Construction at the intersection of Horsebarn Hill Road Extension and Route 195, near the Dairy Bar. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

The UConn Dairy Bar had already been in business for more than three decades before Congress established “National Ice Cream Month” in July 1984, a celebration that continues to this day. If you didn’t already have plans to visit the Dairy Bar this month, there’s your perfect excuse.

But if you’re planning to make tracks for some Husky Tracks ice cream, note that access will be changed slightly due to construction in that area, one of several construction projects on the Storrs campus that could have traffic or pedestrian impacts in July.

Horsebarn Hill Road Extension, which many people have used over the years as their main route to the Dairy Bar, is closed this summer as part of a pedestrian safety project that involves adding sidewalks and lights, and correcting drainage issues.

To reach the Dairy Bar, drivers should look for the sign to turn from Route 195 onto Jerry Yang Road and circle around the Agricultural Biotechnology Laboratory (colloquially known as the “big banana” building for its curved shape). Visitors can use Jerry Yang Road to go back to Route 195, but can also leave by driving along Old Farm Lane to Horsebarn Hill Road, giving them a picturesque view of campus from the hilltop and close views of the animal barns.

In this area and throughout the Storrs campus, drivers are cautioned to continue watching for pedestrians throughout the summer. Even though there are far fewer walkers than during the regular academic year, the campus will host many summer camp programs, conferences, tours, orientation sessions, and other events throughout July.

As was the case last summer, UConn is providing monthly construction updates to notify students, employees, and guests about the status of significant projects on the Storrs campus, and to help them anticipate changes in traffic and pedestrian patterns.

The University’s Office of Planning, Design, and Construction also posts many resources on its website to explain significant construction activity by semester, along with project updates and detailed quarterly construction status reports. In addition, the office keeps a running blog on its website with project updates, specifics about traffic impacts from construction, and other news.

Jim Calhoun Way/Alumni Drive

Part of Jim Calhoun Way has been closed since last fall as part of a project that will eventually transform the southwest portion of the Storrs campus into an Athletics District, with updated facilities for baseball, softball, and soccer.

The road will remain closed between the Freitas Ice Forum and Alumni Drive through summer 2020, with no through traffic allowed from Separatist Road to Hillside Road. Associated work along Alumni Drive is now complete and reopened to traffic.

The UConn Bookstore will remain open for its regular operations and special summer events it hosts, including those during orientation sessions.

Nathan Hale Inn

UConn agreed in September 2018 to sell the Nathan Hale Inn to a private hotel owner and developer, which is renovating and adding it to the Graduate Hotels chain.

The sale was completed in June, and Graduate is expected to begin substantial renovations to the facility this month, including the addition of a new permanent ballroom. More information can be found on the hotel’s website.

The hotel will remain open during the renovations, which are targeted to be completed by the end of the calendar year. Traffic isn’t expected to be affected, although drivers and pedestrians are advised to use caution around the area when work is under way.

Also of Note for July:

  • Coventry Road and Maple Lane, which are near the School of Fine Arts, are both closed throughout the summer as work continues on a project to build a production facility, replace the Fine Arts Building’s roof, and renovate the facade of the Drama/Music Building. To accommodate the construction, there is no through traffic there between Mansfield Road to the north and Bolton Road to the south. To reach the “S” Lot parking area, drivers should follow signs taking them from Bolton Road via Alethia Drive.
  • On North Campus, Auditorium Road and Auditorium Road Extension will be closed temporarily at various times in coming months, eventually closing in August and remaining closed through fall 2020. There’ll be no through traffic there between North Eagleville Road and Jorgensen Road during those periods.
  • In the athletics realm, crews are expected in early July to be finishing up the installation of new artificial turf at the Sherman Family Sports Complex, one of several projects in and around athletics facilities this summer. Traffic is not affected by the projects.