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South Road garage expansion to begin July 27

UMass Medical School Communications

July 16, 2020

Major construction will begin in July on the east side of the South Road parking garage at UMass Medical School to make way for a five-story addition with an elevator tower and sky bridge connecting it to the medical building being built.

The expansion will add 335 parking spaces to the garage, bringing capacity to 1,840 spaces. During construction, about 120 parking spaces will be out of service at various times, with most of those spaces expected to be available again by early November.

“This is a major addition that will have impacts within the existing garage, so parking spaces will have to come out of service as the work progresses,” said Shawn McGuiness, manager of design and construction at UMMS.

The garage expansion will begin July 27, after the enabling work to modify the entrances and the exits of the garage is finished. That work includes changing the main vehicle entrance (on the west side of the building) to both an entrance and exit, widening the approach road for two-way traffic, and adding a new lane for valet parking or drop-off and pick-up at the Ambulatory Care Center.

On the South Road side of the garage, the vehicle exit is being expanded to include three exit lanes and one new entrance lane. In conjunction with those modifications, a new parking control system, with new gates, ticket dispensers and payment kiosks, is being installed.

When those modifications are completed, the east side entrance to the lower level of the garage will close permanently, and the access road to it will be demolished to make way for the foundation of the garage expansion. Additionally, the sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalk and the stretch of South Road in front of the garage lobby will be reconstructed.

“There is going to be a lot of changes in and around the garage this summer and into the fall, so it’s very important for drivers and pedestrians to pay attention to the temporary signs and the public safety officers who will be on site,” McGuiness said.

The new medical building will house the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System’s community-based outpatient clinic. The VA clinic will occupy the first two levels of the building and replace the VA’s Lincoln Street facility in Worcester. The clinic is expected to open in the fall of 2021.

“Suffolk Construction is making good progress on the medical building,” McGuiness said. “The concrete foundation is nearly completed, and the project remains on schedule.”