Utility work will block the front entrances to three buildings at the University of Virginia this summer.
Construction begins next week on building new utility tunnels underneath the sidewalk in front of Minor, Maury and Halsey halls, on the west side of the McIntire Amphitheater. While the main entrances to the halls will be closed, secondary entrances will be available.
Utility tunnels run throughout Grounds, providing underground conduits for building utilities; in many instances, the roofs of the tunnels double as walkways and access roads for service and emergency vehicles. The tunnels in front of Minor, Maury and Halsey halls, constructed in the 1950s, need repair and upgrading.
The $4.95 million construction project also includes upgrading the medium-temperature water line that supplies buildings from Maury Hall to the South Lawn, as well as provisions for a future improvement on the main steam line passing through the tunnel.
To accommodate construction access, parking on the McGuffey Spur, next to Garrett Hall, and a section of the C-1 parking lot south of Halsey Hall will be closed, as will be the sidewalk in front of the three buildings.
Crews erected construction fences around the project this week. Demolition of the old tunnels is scheduled to begin Monday and the project is scheduled to be complete by August, before the students return for the fall term.
The utility tunnel crossing the Lawn to McCormick Road was repaired and upgraded to support the weight of fire trucks last summer.