The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday May 20th

Summer construction projects reroute paths

Students Brittany Newby and Brian O'Donnell became the first graduates of the PATHSS, Project Achieve for Transitioning High School Students, program on June 1st.
Buy Photos Students Brittany Newby and Brian O'Donnell became the first graduates of the PATHSS, Project Achieve for Transitioning High School Students, program on June 1st.

Anna Wu, associate vice chancellor for facilities services, said Porthole Alley, a popular route to Franklin Street featuring the “Parade of Humanity” mural, is being renovated to make it a pedestrian only walkway. This construction along with the demolition of the Hill Hall Annex will cause the route to be temporarily closed.

Wu said the demolition of Hill Hall Annex is the first phase of improvement to Porthole Alley.

In the fall, Wu said construction will begin to create an East-West vehicle access to South Columbia St. between Top Of The Hill and Ackland Art Museum. This new route will make it possible to make Porthole Alley an exclusively pedestrian walkway.

Wu said the aging underground steam tunnels beside Ackland Art Museum will be replaced starting this summer and construction will continue well into the fall. This will also affect pedestrian traffic.

“We’re going to fence off that parking area at the northern most parking, the one between Hanes and Hill Hall and Evergreen,” Wu said. “And so what pedestrians are going to have to do is they’re going to have to walk around it.”

Wu said the performance space centered renovations to Hill Hall will continue into the fall. She said the renovations focus on the auditorium and rotunda in Hill Hall and are anticipated to be finished by the end of this year.

Summer construction for the Pit Improvement project will include multiple improvements and repairs. This project began on June 27 and will continue into August.

“We’re going to provide wheelchair access to the lower-level of the Pit,” Wu said. “And then we’ll be doing some paving repairs on the north side.”

According to a University press release, Hooker Fields will be improved with safer, synthetic turf.

The press release also said the Town of Chapel Hill will be doing road construction affecting University traffic. Ridge Road from Manning Drive to Stadium Drive will be closed off to through traffic and traffic will be detoured to Stadium Drive and South Road. Friday Center Drive will be resurfaced and South Road will be repaved with work scheduled at night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. These roads will only have one accessible lane during overnight hours.

Rising Senior Rayna Yvars said she fears construction could subtract from the campus’ aesthetic appeal, especially to new visitors.

“I think having (construction) during the second half of summer more predominantly than the first half, it takes away from the parents’ experience during freshman orientation,” Yvars said. “They don’t really get to see the campus as what it really looks like as opposed to seeing all the construction everywhere. The first time you come to campus, that’s automatically what you expect as opposed to our gorgeous campus like what it is usually.”

Yvars said campus traffic caused by construction will be a nuisance, but is something she could get used to.

“Once you get used to the detours, it makes it easy. So I guess it doesn’t affect me as much as it will a lot of people who use the roads frequently. It definitely is still annoying in general to have people all over the campus.”

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