University of Michigan Central Campus transit center planned
Big transportation changes are on the way for the stretch of North University Avenue between Fletcher and Church streets.
The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved plans for a $4.5 million Central Campus transit center at its monthly meeting Thursday.
- Resurfacing North University between Fletcher and Church streets.
- Fixing a city water main that's undersized for the area.
- Adding bike lanes.
- Reducing traffic from two lanes to one in each direction.
- Creating bus drop-off lanes on each side of North University and adding larger, covered bus shelters.
- Improving adjoining plaza areas to improve pedestrian flow and safety.
- Creating an accessible entrance to the Alexander G. Ruthven Museum building.
Drawing courtesy of Hubbel, Roth & Clark, Inc.
U-M officials say the moves are necessary to improve pedestrian safety and fix North University Avenue, which is worn and in need of repair. The bus stations will be able to accommodate more buses from both the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority and U-M's busing system.
Half the funds will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and federal transportation funds, with the university providing matching funds from its resources and short-term debt.
"That part of central campus is very crowded and busy - it's a key area," said Timothy Slottow, U-M's chief financial officer.Â "Normally the city would pay for the surfacing and the water utility improvement, but it's not the city's highest priority - it's a high priority for us."
The city was unable to provide $450,000 in funding for its portion of the roadway due to the timing of the project, said Hank Baier, U-M's associate vice president for facilities and operations.
The U-M Department of Architecture, Engineering and Construction, along with Detroit-area consulting engineers Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc., is managing the design of the project.
Area parking spaces will be lost temporarily. Construction is slated to begin in May, with expected completion in the fall.
Plans for zoology collections move take another step forward
Plans to move millions of fish, reptile and amphibian specimens preserved in glass jars at the University of Michigan moved forward Thursday.
The $17.6 million plan to renovate a portion of the Alexander G. Ruthven Museums Building, box up its specimens and move them a new campus home got the initial go-ahead in 2008. Schematic designs by SmithGroup of Detroit were approved at the November 2009 Board of Regents meeting. On Thursday, the regents authorized the construciton bidding process to begin.
The project includes renovations and fire systems improvements of 6,800 square feet at Ruthven to allow a small portion of the collections to remain on-site for easy access for teaching and research. The rest will be moved to 3600 Varsity Drive, where a 40,000-square-foot space within the existing building will be constructed under the plan.
The new space will have all the proper codes, such as a certain wall thickness and fire retardant systems, as well as a small lab area for visiting professors and students.
Juliana Keeping covers higher education for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at email@example.com or 734-623-2528.