Construction Update: August 2019

Large construction vehicles piling up earth in a muddy field that will become a parking lot
New construction will bring changes to some parking areas on campus. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

UConn’s roads and sidewalks are about to get busy with vehicles and pedestrians again.

Most summer construction projects at UConn Storrs will be wrapping up over the next few weeks as fall semester approaches. Some significant changes to parking arrangements in the northeast section of UConn Storrs will also go into effect on Monday, Aug. 19. These parking changes are needed to accommodate the development of Northwest Science Quad, which starts construction this winter.

As was the case last summer, UConn is providing monthly construction updates to notify students, employees, and guests about the status of significant summertime 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.

Details will also be announced soon about traffic pattern changes needed to accommodate the period when students move into UConn’s residence halls from Friday, Aug. 23 through Sunday, Aug. 25.

Parking Changes

One of the most noticeable changes is the start of new parking arrangements in several locations beginning Aug. 19 to accommodate the planned Northwest Science Quad, which begins construction in January 2020. It includes construction of a STEM research center known as Science 1, along with parking for about 180 vehicles and a supplemental utility plant.

Lots L, N (formerly Lot 9), and X currently occupy the quadrant’s development site, bounded on the north by King Hill Road. To accommodate the construction, those parking lots must permanently close before construction can begin.

Specifically, by Monday, Aug. 19:

–          Lower Lot F near North Eagleville Road will become Area 2 employee parking to accommodate about 250 vehicles, with commuter student parking eliminated at that location.

–          Lot K, which is currently under construction across from the Innovation Partnership Building on Discovery Drive, will open before the semester starts and will accommodate about 700 commuter student vehicles.

–          Lot L, which is located south of King Hill Road, will permanently close. Upper Lot X, which previously had employee and commuter student permit parking, is also closing.

–          Student garage permit parking will be relocated from North Garage to South Garage.

Lots C, K and W will offer the bulk of available parking for commuter students. Since most student parking is being relocated to the campus periphery, UConn is also improving shuttle services to those locations and has posted a parking map online (PDF), along with the new fall 2019 bus schedule.

Other changes are expected in January 2020 ahead of the next phase of the Northwest Science Quad’s construction. They include the permanent closure of Lot N, which currently has about 220 employee spaces; along with closure of the lower section of Lot X, with about 360 commuter student spots.

While the majority of employees displaced from Lots N and X are expected to be accommodated on Lot F, the University also expects that some of those permit holders will choose to park in the North Garage for an additional fee.

While relocating about 1,000 parking spaces from the area will affect a large number of permit holders, the planned parking changes will help mitigate any potentially negative effects of these unavoidable lot closures.

Ultimately, the benefits of the Northwest Science Quad will exceed the initial parking impacts required to prepare the site for development.

Horsebarn Hill Road Extension

Horsebarn Hill Extension, which has been used over the years as an entry to the Dairy Bar, has been closed this summer as part of a pedestrian safety project that involves adding sidewalks and lights, and correcting drainage issues.

The road will reopen before fall semester begins with its new name, Manter Road. It is being named in memory of Jerauld A. Manter, a professor of entomology for over four decades in the first half of the 20th century, who also served as the University’s photographer during that time, creating a priceless archive of images from our early years.

In weeks before the road reopens under its new name, drivers should take a nearby route to reach the Dairy Bar: 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 continues to host many visitors, tour groups and others while classes are in recess.

Jim Calhoun Way

The portion of Jim Calhoun Way between Alumni Drive and Freitas Ice Forum will continue to be closed through summer 2020 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.

No through traffic is permitted from Separatist Road to Hillside Road.

Accommodations will be made to help student move-in traffic reach the nearby Hilltop Apartments on the weekend of Aug. 23-25.

Also of Note for August

  • The new Student Recreation Center on Hillside Road will open at 6 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 26, when the fall semester begins.
  • Coventry Road and Maple Lane, which are near the School of Fine Arts, will remain closed until October as work continues on a project to build a production facility, replace the Fine Arts Building’s roof, and renovate the façade of the Drama/Music Building.

To accommodate construction, there is no through traffic between Mansfield and Bolton roads. To reach the S Lot parking area, drivers should follow Bolton Road to Alethia Drive.

  • On North Campus, Auditorium Road and Auditorium Road Extension have been closed temporarily at various times in recent months as part of an ongoing project to renovate the Gant Science Complex. Further closures are planned before the fall semester begins and will remain closed through fall 2020. There will be no through traffic there between North Eagleville Road and Jorgensen Road during those periods, and pedestrians will be routed around the North Garage or through the Gant facility.
  • Work is projected to continue into early October in the Northeast Science Quad — the area bounded by Chemistry, Pharmacy and several other buildings between North Eagleville Road and Glenbrook Road — to improve safety and accessibility while creating an outdoor gathering space within this well-traveled spot.

The service parking lot between Atwater and Torrey Life Sciences will also be improved with paving, better lighting, drainage, and other improvements related to accessibility. Work in that area in the coming month is expected to require some re-routing of pedestrian traffic around the Chemistry Building and elsewhere at various times throughout August and September.