Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fuller Road structure would add new parking near medical center

The university would add about 780 parking spaces near the Medical Center Campus under Phase 1 of a proposal that ultimately could result in an intermodal transportation center for car, bus, rail and bicycle traffic.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) approved by the Ann Arbor City Council last week, U-M will pay for 78 percent of the first phase of the Fuller Road Station (FRS), to be constructed south of Fuller Road and immediately north of the medical campus. The university presently leases the site from the city for university surface parking.

The project approval and architect selection request is expected go before the Board of Regents in December.

“We’re pleased to work together on this effort to marry options for biking, bus connections, vehicle parking and — eventually — rail passengers,” says Jim Kosteva, director of community relations. “This project is one more example of the collaboration between the university and community to enhance mobility and improve alternative transportation.”

U-M will utilize 78 percent of the estimated 1,000 surface and structure parking spaces expected in the new facility, which also will include a covered loading and unloading area for buses, and bicycle hoops and lockers that are being included in anticipation of a future bike station at the site.

That number of parking spaces corresponds with U-M’s funding share of the project phase, estimated to cost $46 million. The money will come from the university’s self-supporting parking and transportation fund.

With the completion of the Brehm Center and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital project expected to be done in June 2012, this project will be critical to managing the increased parking and transportation needs for faculty, staff, patients and visitors, Kosteva says.

The construction project covered in the MOU represents the first phase of a proposed hub that would link a variety of transportation modes and work to ease automobile traffic in and around Ann Arbor and the university. Future phases might include a new train station, rail platforms, additional bus or transit services, a bicycle station with changing facilities and showers, and a skywalk connection to university hospitals.

The university will manage construction of the Fuller Road Station and related site development, and an upgrade to the multi-use path along Fuller Road. The city will manage improvements to Fuller Road for entering and exiting the new facility.

The MOU calls for the facility to be completed by the summer of 2012. The land will continue to be owned by the City of Ann Arbor.

During the construction, 250 yellow university parking spaces will be lost. People will be encouraged to park remotely and use the bus system. In addition, there are similar parking options available at the Glazier Way lot and spaces are anticipated at the North Campus Research Facility.

This is not the first time the university and the city have partnered on such a project. They worked together in a similar fashion on the Forest Street structure, which was rebuilt in 2000-01.