Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, February 19, 2010

Transit Center project will improve bus access to Central Campus

New shelters and expanded bus lanes along North University Avenue will help meet the growing needs for public transportation in the Central Campus area.

The Board of Regents approved the Central Campus Transit Center on Thursday. Work on the roadway between the C.C. Little Building and the Alexander G. Ruthven Museums Building near the School of Dentistry is expected to start in mid-May and be completed by fall.

The $4.5 million project will reduce traffic from two lanes to one in both directions of North University and add larger bus loading areas on both sides of the street. Other work in the project includes:

• Adding larger shelters to accommodate more bus riders.

• Adding bicycle lanes and bicycle racks to meet demand.

• Replacing the water main under the street to improve fire protection in the area.

• Repaving the street.

• Improving the pedestrian walkway across North University.

• Creating an accessible entrance for the west entrance to the Ruthven Building.

Hank Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations, noted that funding for the project would come from a combination of federal transportation funds and American Recovery and Rehabilitation Act funds with the university providing matching funds from Business and Finance, Parking and Utility resources.

He explained that the city of Ann Arbor, which typically partners with the university on road and water main work, is unable to provide the $450,000 for the water and main roadway because of the timing of the project.

The new bus loading areas will accommodate more buses and will be used by both U-M and Ann Arbor Transportation Authority vehicles.

The roof of the new shelters will extend over the curb to provide protection from the weather as riders enter and exit buses. Informational displays in the shelters will provide real-time arrival information utilizing the U-M’s Magic Bus system.

The entire project is being designed with sustainability in mind. Porous pavers used in some areas will help with water drainage and the translucent roofs on the shelters will reduce daytime lighting needs.

The Department of Architecture, Engineering and Construction, in collaboration with the engineering firm of Hubbel, Roth & Clark Inc., is managing the project.

This artist's rendition shows the new bus shelters planned for North University Avenue. (Drawing courtesy of Hubbel, Roth & Clark Inc.)