by Andrew Shurtleff
11, 2003 -- The long-anticipated opening of the 1,200-space Emmet/Ivy
Parking Garage will take place Nov. 12 at 5:30 a.m.
long, low-slung garage, is set on 4.5 acres in a natural, woodland
landscape that resembles a park more than a city center for cars.
project’s budget included $1.5 million for site work, including
extensive landscaping. The main entranceway on Ivy Road is lined
by a curving rock wall, and a stream — which construction
workers report is already home to minnows and frogs — flows
through stands of trees and what will be a native-grass and wildflower
meadow between the garage and Ivy Road. The stream is part of a
cutting-edge regional storm-water management system that also includes
a detention basin to hold backed-up water during heavy downpours,
then gradually release it as the rain slackens.
Maulding, project manager for the garage’s chief contractor,
Donley’s Inc. of Cleveland, and a veteran of 23 garage projects,
ranks the facility among the top five that he has worked on, due
to its design and setting.
garage’s location, design and impact on local traffic patterns
were the objects of great concern from nearby city residents. In
the end, the site’s neighbors served on a committee with University
and Charlottesville representatives to formally offer their input.
The result of the process was an improved design, said Leonard W.
Sandridge, U.Va.’s executive
vice president and chief operating officer.
people worked relentlessly to design and construct a garage that
is attractive, safe and sensitive to the concerns of our neighbors,”
he said. “We believe that we have achieved that objective.”
$15.75 million project took just 14 months to complete. The five-level
garage replaces surface parking lost to the John Paul Jones Arena
project on Massie Road, and will provide parking for football and
basketball games and other major University events. At all other
times, around-the-clock access will be by permit only. As of Monday,
more than 780 “Zip Tags” — rearview mirror-mounted
transponders that will raise the garage’s gates — had
been issued to permit-holders, who include U.Va. faculty, staff
Wednesday, University Transit Service will provide regular bus transportation
to Central Grounds and the Health System area via the Blue and Green
routes and the Central Grounds Shuttle. A permanent shelter, located
immediately outside the building, provides cover for commuters as
they await buses.
garage’s opening will also trigger the closing of the remaining
spaces in the North Massie Road lot, effective Nov. 15, to facilitate
The garage’s main entrance is off of Ivy Road via a traffic
signal-controlled intersection. Motorists may also enter from and
exit onto Emmet Street, although those exiting the facility will
not be permitted to turn left onto Emmet.
the traffic signals at the Ivy Road garage entrance; the intersection
of Emmet Street, Ivy Road and University Avenue; and the intersection
of Ivy and Copeley and Alderman roads will be hand-calibrated to
improve traffic flow. By Nov. 28, University and city officials
hope to have signals at nine nearby intersections computer synchronized,
and the city of Charlottesville has plans to synchronize signals
citywide by spring. The University contributed approximately $40,000
toward the $250,000 cost of a software package to accomplish that
the project manager, lauded the city’s efficiency in responding
to inquiries and called the cooperation between the city and University
“excellent. Not pretty good — it’s been excellent.
And it doesn’t always happen that way. You just don’t
run into that.”
structure has a more open, airy feel than most parking facilities,
with lower walls on each level letting in more natural light and
affording panoramic views, particularly from the facility’s
upper floors. There are also three glass elevators and three glass-enclosed
stairwells. In response to neighbors’ concerns, the interior
lighting is specially designed to minimize spillover into adjacent
neighborhoods at night.
“blue-light” emergency phones on each level connect
directly to the University Police, who can pinpoint each caller’s
exact location. There are 23 handicapped-access parking spaces on
the bottom floor and two more just outside the garage. The maximum
clearance for vehicles heading to the upper floors is posted at
7 feet, 2 inches.
of the structure was built of pre-cast concrete — 1,040 pieces
fashioned in Petersburg, then hauled in 640 truckloads to the site,
where they were assembled in just four months. Using pre-cast concrete,
rather then the more time-consuming cast-in-place method, saved
six to eight months of construction time, Maulding said.
University’s long-range master plan includes the possibility
of erecting student housing between the garage and Ivy Road, but
no firm plans are in place.
and basketball game operations
parking facility will be available to ticket-holders on a first-come,
first-served basis for all home football and men’s basketball
games. Regular permit-holders will not be asked to relocate for
garage will open three hours before kickoff for football games,
beginning with the Nov. 22 game against Georgia Tech, and non-permit-holders
must leave by two hours after the game. Non-permit-holders will
be charged $10 per game.
basketball games, the garage will open 90 minutes prior to tip-off
and will close to non-permit-holders one hour afterward. Non-permit-holders
will be charged a $5 fee per game.
both football and basketball games, exiting traffic will be routed
west on Ivy Road. Cones will prohibit a left turn on Cameron Road.