Observatory Drive to fully close near Veterinary Medicine, August 15-19

From August 15-19, Observatory Drive will close in both directions near the Veterinary Medicine construction site. This closure will significantly limit options for thru vehicle traffic between the east and west sides of campus. It will also impact travel for in- and outbound traffic and cause Metro Transit detours. The sidewalk on the southern side of Observatory Drive will remain open.

Impact on cross-campus travel

The closure makes Johnson Street and University Avenue/Campus Drive the only major thoroughfares connecting the east and west sides of campus. To travel westbound across campus, vehicles must detour via University Avenue/Campus Drive. To travel eastbound across campus, vehicles must use University Avenue/Campus Drive and Johnson Street.

Metro Transit routes 11, 38, 44, 80, and 84 will also detour. For bus detour information, see the Metro Transit website.

Impact on in- and outbound traffic

Interior areas of campus may be accessed via the recommended routes listed below.

Observatory Drive detours, August 2022
Click on the image to enlarge the map.

To access interior areas of campus west of Willow Creek:

  • Highland Avenue is fully open but expect increased traffic and delays during this work.
  • Walnut Street is open northbound only, and traffic detours through Linden Drive and Lot 59 due to construction near the roundabout. The southbound lane of Walnut Street is currently closed due to construction. The Walnut driveway to Lot 64 is closed August 15 – 27.
  • University Bay Drive is open to in- and outbound traffic. Please note that a City of Madison construction project has reduced lanes along University Avenue and University Bay Drive. Vehicles traveling along this route may experience delays.

To access the School of Veterinary Medicine:

  • The sidewalk on the southern side of Observatory Drive will remain open.
  • Vehicles traveling west should use Observatory Drive to reach Lot 67 (Linden Drive Garage) which will be accessible.
  • The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and Lot 4 will not be accessible to vehicles traveling west on Observatory Drive. There are two vehicular options from the south and east:
    1. Travel northbound on Walnut Street from old University Avenue, then right on Linden Drive near Lot 59.
    2. Travel northbound on Highland Avenue from Campus Drive or old University Avenue, then right on Observatory Drive. Stay on Observatory through the roundabout before an immediate right into Lot 59.

To access interior areas of campus east of Veterinary Medicine:

  • Park Street is fully open.
  • Charter Street is fully open north of University Avenue.
  • Babcock Drive is open to inbound traffic only.

Please note:

  • Due to construction, Observatory Drive is westbound-only near Muir Woods to Charter Street.
  • Due to construction, Linden Drive is eastbound-only between Babcock Drive and Henry Mall.

For more information on ongoing roadway closures and detours, please see the campus lot and street impacts/closures map or visit the campus construction impacts webpage.

Updated August 10, 2022.