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What You Need to Know About Summer Construction

Work on roads, sidewalks and buildings will affect how you get around Duke

Duke's new engineering building continues to rise in the heart of West Campus. Photo by Leanora Minai.
Duke's new engineering building continues to rise in the heart of West Campus. Photo by Leanora Minai.

UPDATE: July 3, 2019

Duke Chapel Resumes Normal Daily Schedule

With this summer's maintenance work complete, Duke Chapel will resume its normal daily schedule. It will be open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. On Thursday, July 4, Duke Chapel will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The chapel will still occasionally close for weddings and special events, so check the schedule before visiting. 

UPDATE: June 10, 2019

Chapel Drive Project Modified

Due to recent changes in design and permitting requirements, the traffic light at Chapel Drive and Duke University Road will not be completed this summer.

UPDATE: June 4, 2019

To accommodate summer visitors, the Duke Lemur Center culvert replacement project planned to begin this spring is postponed until October 1, 2019.

UPDATE: June 3, 2019

Duke Chapel Hours Modified Due to Maintenance Projects

Access to Duke University Chapel will be limited this summer due to construction and maintenance projects. The Chapel will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday–Friday and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, the Chapel will be closed to the public at times on the weekends for weddings. Please see the calendar before visiting.

UPDATE: May 15, 2019

Towerview Road Project Postponed

In coordination with a public utility company, Duke officials will postpone a project that would have required Towerview Road to be closed between Duke University Road and the Wannamaker Drive traffic circle for most of the summer. The project, which will expand the network of pipes that provide hot water and heat to buildings on West Campus, will take place in 2020. Towerview Road will remain open this summer.

Original Post: 

At points this summer, construction fences will come down on major campus construction projects such as the Hollows Residence Hall, Karsh Alumni & Visitors Center and the new building that will be shared by the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

But there will still be plenty of work going on across campus this summer. After commencement on May 12, pedestrians and motorists will need to make some adjustments while getting around campus.

Here’s a look at some larger projects.

Chapel Drive

Intersection of Chapel Drive and Duke University Road.
What’s happening: The prime objective of the work that will close Chapel Drive for the summer is to replace a culvert that runs under the street that serves as a prominent entry to West Campus. While that work is being done, other jobs will be knocked out.

Among those other tasks are installing a traffic light at the intersection of Chapel Drive and Duke University Road that will replace the existing flashing light. Other work includes refreshing pavement, sidewalks, granite curbs and streetlights that run along Chapel Drive.

What you can expect: Chapel Drive between Duke University Road and the traffic circle at Campus Drive will be closed from just after May 12 commencement until just before students return in August. Traffic moving between Duke University Road and the traffic circle will be rerouted along Anderson Street and Campus Drive. For pedestrians, there will be a walkway that runs along the East side of the Karsh Alumni & Visitors Center construction site connecting Duke University Road and Campus Drive.

Transit adjustments: The closure will require the Swift Express bus line to use a detour on Anderson Street and Campus Drive. Duke officials are also working with regional transit providers to move their bus stops along the affected portion of Chapel Drive to where Campus Drive intersect with the traffic circle. Follow real-time transit updates on Duke TransLoc.

Get a pedestrian detour map: Consult this Facilities map for a review of work area and detours.

Expected completion: August 2019

Towerview Road Project: Postponed until 2020Towerview Road.

What’s happening: The underground web of pipes that provide hot water and heat for Duke’s buildings will expand to cover parts of West Campus such as the new Hollows Residence Hall. As a result, Towerview Road will be closed for the summer so necessary connections can be completed under the street.

Meanwhile, finishing touches such as sidewalks, trees and street lights for the area around the Hollows – which will open in August – will also be completed.

Abele QuadAbele Quad

What’s happening: As part of a larger refresh of the hardscape on West Campus central core, the roadway circling Abele Quad and running in front of Duke University Chapel will be closed for most of the summer. The area will receive new pavement, wider bluestone sidewalks, new cobblestones and granite curbs.

What you can expect: Pedestrian and vehicular access to Abele Quad will be limited throughout the summer.

Transit adjustments: Construction will not affect the bus stop.

Get a map: See this map of the work area and path.

Expected completion: August 2019

Research Drive ProjectThe Research Drive Parking Garage.

What’s happening: In order to improve the redundancy in Duke’s electrical system, work on building an underground connection between substations Nos. 1 and 5 will begin in May. As part of that work, a section of Research Drive will be limited to one lane.

What you can expect: Traffic will only be allowed to travel southbound on Research Drive between the Research Drive Parking Garage entrance and the traffic circle at Circuit Drive. To reach Erwin Road, traffic exiting the garage will be allowed to turn right on Research Drive, however traffic on Research Drive going north will need to turn left on Circuit Drive and use LaSalle Street to get to Erwin Rd.

Get a map: Consult this Facilities map.

Expected completion: July 2019

Buchanan BoulevardRoad near Smith Warehouse.

What’s happening: Work by the city of Durham to replace water lines will limit traffic on Buchanan Boulevard south of Main Street starting May 13, 2019. Current plans call for closing the southbound lanes of Buchanan Boulevard during the week of May 13. It will be another month or so before the waterline replacement begins around Smith Warehouse.

What you can expect: Buchanan Boulevard will be one lane between Maxwell Street and Chapel Hill Road. Over the course of the project, both lanes of Buchanan Boulevard will be closed between Maxwell Street and Main Street, meaning traffic in and out of Smith Warehouse will be rerouted to Campus Drive.

Get city of Durham detour and work maps: See this map for Buchanan Boulevard Southbound detours; see this map for the waterline replacements. 

Real-time project updates: Visit the city of Durham's project site.

Expected Completion: June 2019

Central Campus DemolitionCentral Campus scene.

What’s happening: With student residents leaving in May, the residence halls on Central Campus will begin to be demolished. In all, around 406,000 square feet of wood-sided and brick-clad buildings will be removed in a process that will last from May until the end of 2019.

The future of Central Campus is not yet defined. Until decisions are finalized about the area’s future use, the space will be converted into temporary surface parking that will contain around 1,900 spaces.

What you can expect: Oregon Street, Alexander Avenue and Anderson Street will remain open, though construction traffic will increase.

Engineering BuildingThe new engineering building.

What’s happening: Work continues on the 150,000-square foot building which will house labs, collaboration spaces, classrooms and offices for the Pratt School of Engineering.

What you can expect: At points, Research Drive and Telecom Drive will be limited to one lane.

Expected completion: January 2021

Edens CaféA rendering of the new Edens Cafe.

What’s happening: This summer, the kitchen and serving area of the West Campus eatery in McClendon Tower will be renovated. Over the fall semester, the adjoining terrace will be encased in glass, adding around 6,000 square feet of dining room space, enough for around 70 additional seats.

What you can expect: Work related to this project will cause access to small parts of Wannamaker Drive to be restricted occasionally in the coming months.

Expected completion: December 2019

Outdoor Arts SpaceA rendering of the new sculpture park.

What’s happening: The strip of land between the Nasher Museum of Art and the Rubenstein Arts Center will be transformed into a pedestrian-friendly outdoor arts space over the coming months. It will feature a grassy lawn and a tree-shaded plaza.

Meanwhile, underground connections will be added that link the Nasher Museum of Art to Duke’s chilled water system.

What you can expect: Campus Drive between Anderson Street and Alexander Avenue will be reduced to one lane from April until August.

Expected completion: August 2019

Duke Lemur CenterLemur Lane at Erwin Road.

What’s happening: A culvert running under Lemur Lane near Erwin Road will be replaced, requiring the Duke Lemur Center’s main entrance to be closed beginning in late April.

What you can expect: Access to the Duke Lemur Center will only be available via the entrance off of Cornwallis Road.

Get a map: Consult this Facilities map for work area.

Expected completion: May 2019

Duke University Hospital Bed TowerThe Bed Tower at Duke Hospital.

What’s happening: Work will continue on the bed tower addition to Duke University Hospital. While there is plenty of work left to do on the 490,000-square foot building, which will feature 350 patient rooms, a café and room for support services, this summer will see it look more like it’s ultimate form as walls and windows will soon fill out the framework.

What you can expect: Construction traffic will continue to circulate around the core of the hospital and pedestrian access to the area will continue to be restricted.

Expected completion: Summer 2021

North Pavilion ExpansionA rendering of the North Pavilion addition.

What’s happening: The North Pavilion, the 10-story Duke Health facility next to 147, is in the process of receiving a 30,000-square foot addition. The new space will provide more room for the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Program, the Duke Ambulatory Surgery Center and be home to a compounding pharmacy.

What you can expect: Aside from some construction-related traffic on nearby Fulton Street, the effects on traffic should be minimal.

Expected completion: Fall 2020

Follow Working@Duke on Twitter for significant updates to these projects throughout the summer.