This week, for the first time in decades, drivers will be able to turn right onto Ames Street from Memorial Drive, allowing for two-way travel on the designated one-way road. This and other changes to nearby roads may alter travel patterns for many drivers and pedestrians on MIT’s East Campus as renovations continue on Building E52.
During the first week in September, Ames will be available for two-way travel from Memorial to Main Street. Later in September, the travel pattern on Wadsworth Street will change and the section between Amherst Street and Memorial will be closed. These road modifications are temporary measures to reduce impact on traffic that normally travels on these streets. They will remain in effect while Building E52 is fully renovated over the next two years.
“We want the community to be aware of the seriousness of this traffic change,” says John DiFava, director of Facilities Operations and Security. “Pedestrians who are used to walking in that area are not accustomed to traffic travelling in both directions on Ames Street." DiFava sent an email to the MIT community last Friday explaining the changes.
Additional travel changes include different pathways in the area: There will be no pedestrian traffic allowed through Building E52 during construction. However, a pedestrian route around Building E52 will support safe travel, including a new paved sidewalk along Memorial. The enclosed bike rack in the Hermann Garage will remain available. However, entry to the rack will be relocated from the garage to the walkway.
“Bike racks within the construction zone will not be available, but the E53 bike cage in the Hermann Garage has been expanded,” according to Larry Brutti, manager of Parking and Transportation.
To accommodate the construction, some of the existing trees along Memorial will be removed. They will be replaced and other landscape enhancements will be added once the project is completed.
Constructed in 1938 as the Massachusetts headquarters for the Lever Brothers Company, Building E52 had not been significantly upgraded and was recently evaluated by an outside firm for MIT. The Institute determined that the building required extensive renewal and renovation and requested that the occupants move out so that the building could be renovated unoccupied.
During more than two years of construction, the building will receive extensive renewal and renovation in order to serve current academic needs. Once completed, Building E52 will offer high-quality academic space for the Department of Economics on the fourth and fifth floors; student-focused administrative functions for the MIT Sloan School of Management on the lower floors; and an expanded conference facility on the sixth and seventh floors — including a glass-enclosed addition to the building.
Additional information about traffic patterns and construction activities can be found at: http://web.mit.edu/facilities/construction/updates.shtml