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Hutchison Drive project brings summerlong road closure


By Dateline staff

Drawing: Hutchison Drive improvement project

Drawing shows sections of road to be rebuilt (dark gray) and the two tabletop crossings, plus the separation of the bike path and sidewalk at the southwest corner of Shields Library.

The Hutchison corridor improvement project in the center of campus is moving into Phase 2, bringing a summerlong road closure, rerouted buses and a different path for pedestrians:

• The Hutchison Drive closure is scheduled to begin Monday (June 17), between the east side of Rock Hall (near California Avenue) and Cushing Way (just east of the Music Building). Later on this summer, the barricades on the west will be pushed out to California Avenue.

Unitrans will reroute its A and L lines to and from the Memorial Union Terminal instead of the Silo Terminal, while the W Line will continue to serve the Silo, but will take a longer route via Old Davis Road westbound and Shields Avenue eastbound. See Unitrans map.

• Look for the chain-link fences on the north side of Hutchison to be moved to the south side, probably the week of June 24.

“So, basically, the south side will be closed to east-west foot traffic, and the north side will be open — just the opposite of what we have out there now,” said Jason Magness, senior project manager for Design and Construction Management.

And there will be two places where you can cross: between Mrak Mall and the west side Shields Library, and between the art-music-theater district and the paths on the east side of the library.

Construction on the $3.7 million project has been under way since March, mostly on the north side of Hutchison, where the contractor has been putting in new sidewalks, seating walls and landscaping. Next comes the same kind of work on the south side.

And, with the close of spring quarter, and a significant drop in student population, the contractor can go to work in the road: rebuilding about 1,250 feet and installing a larger pipeline for storm drainage, and widening a section of Hutchison in front of the art-music-theater district, while also eliminating a dip in the road and some of the curve in this same section. Read the official road closure announcement.

The contractor also has some finishing work to do near the southwest corner of Shields Library, where a triangular space will continue to be fenced off. This is where two paths are being separated, so pedestrians and bicyclists will no longer come together in a jumble at Hutchison Drive.

The new sidewalk at this location will extend uninterrupted across Hutchison to Mrak Mall, meaning there will be no curbs — pedestrians will cross without stepping down into the street or stepping up from the street. Buses, however, will drive up and over the tabletop, or raised, sidewalk.

A tabletop sidewalk will also span Hutchison between the Music Building and Olson Hall. A passenger drop-off and loading zone is also being built there, on the south side of Olson — intended for people going to and from music events in the Classroom and Recital Hall (due for completion in 2015) across the street.

Magness said the project is on target for completion before the start of the fall quarter.

Earlier coverage

“Make way for new and improved Hutchison Drive,” Dateline UC Davis (March 19, 2013)


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