Porthole Alley reopened on March 29 after undergoing a renovation project aiming to improve safety and appearance. The alley is best known for Michael Brown’s parade mural and connects Franklin Street to UNC’s campus.
The $2.8 million project began in November 2016 and includes adding better lighting, brick sidewalks and green spaces.
UNC employees Kyle Coble, construction manager, and Jill Coleman, design manager, oversaw the renovation. The university partnered with the Town of Chapel Hill and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership to complete the project.
Before the renovation, vehicles could enter the alley through Franklin Street to reach service entrances behind buildings. Now, vehicles can reach the service entrances from Columbia Street in between Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery and the Ackland Art Museum, Coleman said.
“The genesis of the project was to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety through the area,” Coleman said.