Beginning Monday, Jan. 22, Children’s Way between 24th Avenue and Natchez Trace will reopen to vehicle traffic.
The 25th Avenue Garage will be open, but university-affiliated parkers should enter the garage from Highland Avenue, and medical center-affiliated parkers should enter the garage from 24th Avenue.
These impacts on traffic patterns are part of Vanderbilt University’s Central Utilities Initiative, which supports construction projects in the Frist Athletics Village. The initiative will update utilities in support of Vandy United projects, the residential colleges planned for 25th Avenue South and other university projects.
Alternate routes will be established around the construction. Please refer to the maps below for routes that are open to vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. If you are in the area, please watch for signs, follow the guidance of flaggers and security personnel, and plan for potential delays.
- Children’s Way will open to vehicle traffic between Natchez Trace and 24th Avenue South.
- Traffic exiting the West Garage between 3-6 p.m., Monday-Friday, will no longer route to Blakemore Avenue using a temporary roadway near the Blair School. Instead, it will route west to Natchez Trace via Children’s Way.
- 25th Avenue will remain closed from Blakemore Avenue to Highland Avenue.
- Jess Neely Drive is permanently closed to vehicle traffic.
- Natchez Trace will remain closed between Jess Neely Drive and West End Avenue.
- Pedestrian access will re-open along the southern sidewalk on Children’s Way.
- A temporary, accessible sidewalk will open Jan. 24 to connect Jess Neely Drive to 25th Avenue South near the McGugin Center. The route between Jess Neely and 25th Avenue South will be modified to run behind the tennis courts.
- Pedestrians should follow posted detour signs.
- On 25th Avenue, one side of the street will remain open between the Student Recreation Center and Highland Avenue.
- On 25th Avenue, south of Highland Quad, pedestrians should detour to 24th Avenue South or Natchez Trace. A crosswalk between the Student Recreation Center and Highland Quad is in place but may shift location as construction progresses. There are flaggers, temporary ramps and signs to help navigate the work zone.
Bicyclists and Scooters
- Due to space limitations along the modified pedestrian route at Jess Neely near the tennis center, bicyclists and scooter riders are prohibited from riding across Jess Neely Drive during this phase of work.
- Bicyclists and scooter riders can dismount and walk to bike parking facilities at the McGugin Center from the Natchez Trace to the west, or to bike parking facilities at the tennis center from east/25th Avenue South.
- Non-dismount access to campus by the Recreation Center Path and Highland Quad will remain open, but now cyclists will also be able to move east/west along Children’s Way.
***All routes are subject to change; watch for updates.
Highland Access Road
The pathway around Highland Quad (see image below) has been widened with gravel to add space for pedestrians and to accommodate emergency vehicles. These pathways are not for public vehicle use.
Highland Quad residents can use lot 24 off 24th Avenue for deliveries and for ride-share pickup and drop-off. Fifteen-minute parking spaces will be available for delivery drivers.
The Central Utilities Initiative was announced in January 2023 and will enhance the resiliency and redundancy of utility systems on campus. The new power plant and improved distribution lines called for in the initiative will increase capacity for utility generation. The Highland Power Plant, designed to achieve LEED certification, is being built on the recreation field on 25th Avenue South, next to the David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center.
This is a conceptual rendering and is subject to change.
Similar to the Phase I construction project in the Peabody Neighborhood in 2020, CUI will convert the original underground steam distribution system to hot water, saving considerable energy, and install chilled water lines, supporting the university’s sustainability goals. In alignment with Vanderbilt’s FutureVU vision, the project also will include road improvements, the burying of overhead utilities and an enhanced pedestrian-centric environment—comparable to the transformation of the West End Neighborhood in 2019.