Campus & community, Campus news

Updates on People's Park construction

By Public Affairs

A photo shows double-stacked shipping containers along a Berkeley street, with a view of the Campanile in the background.

On Thursday morning, workers prepared to surround People's Park with double-stacked shipping containers.

Brittany Hosea-Small for UC Berkeley

Follow this story for running updates on the People’s Park construction site. For more information, please visit our story about UC Berkeley’s plans for building student and supportive housing at the site.

The following update was posted at 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 10: Today, work was completed to secure the People’s Park construction site. All streets in the area are open to pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic. Security measures will be in place at the site 24 hours a day until the housing complex is constructed.

While planning prioritized public safety, UC Berkeley’s leadership regrets the disruption caused to nearby residents and is grateful for their patience.

Construction on the much-needed student and supportive housing will resume when pending legal issues are resolved.

Plans for the site include 1,100 beds of new student housing and permanent supportive housing for very-low-income and formerly unhoused people. A developer will build the supportive housing on a portion of the site the university is providing at no cost. The project will also preserve more than 60% of the site as public, revitalized green space. The green space will include a memorialization of the site’s past and historical significance.

The following update was posted at 5:10 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9: Current road closures are anticipated to remain in effect until Wednesday, Jan. 10.

The following update was posted at 9:05 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 8: More streets have been opened, and Underhill Parking Garage is now partially open for use. The remaining street closures are scheduled to remain in effect until 6 p.m. on Tuesday Jan. 9.

Here are the current closures:

  • Bowditch Street is closed between Haste Street and Dwight Way
  • Dwight Way is closed between Telegraph Avenue and Bowditch Street
  • Haste Street is closed between Telegraph Avenue and Bowditch Street

The following update was posted at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7: All of the following streets that were closed due to work at the People's Park construction site are scheduled to be reopened at some point tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 8: Channing Way (already open), Bowditch Street between Channing and Dwight ways, Dwight Way between Telegraph and Benvenue avenues, Hillegass Avenue (already open), Regent Street (already open), and Haste Street between College and Telegraph avenues. 

The following update was posted at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7: Heavy rain slowed progress at the site. Work has not yet been completed, but more streets have been opened. 

Here’s the current status:

  • Channing Way is open 
  • Bowditch Street is closed between Channing and Dwight ways
  • Dwight Way is closed between Telegraph and Benvenue avenues
  • Hillegass Avenue is open 
  • Regent Street is open
  • Haste Street is closed between College and Telegraph avenues

The following update was posted at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6:  

Channing Way is now open again between Telegraph and College avenues in Berkeley. In addition, some other barriers have been removed, allowing more access for drivers and bicyclists. Work inside the People’s Park construction site continues. The Underhill parking lot remains closed to the public.  

The following message was sent to the campus community at 6:13 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4:

As of this afternoon, good progress is being made to enclose the People’s Park construction site. The enclosure is designed to provide a safe working environment for the contractors building our next student housing project and new park along with supportive housing.

Related work at the site will require several more days to finish, so the streets surrounding the park and the Underhill parking structure will remain closed. We encourage managers to allow their teams to work from home, if possible, until Wednesday, Jan. 10. If you are coming to campus, please expect traffic delays.

To read about the campus's plans for the construction site and its successful partnerships to care for unhoused people who have camped and gathered there, please go to Berkeley News and to the People's Park Housing website.

We will be in touch again soon about our progress with this critical closure project.

Update as of 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4: On Thursday morning, People’s Park and the surrounding areas were successfully and safely cleared by police. There were seven misdemeanor arrests. All seven were charged with trespassing, and two of them had additional charges of failure to disperse. They were taken to North County Jail in Oakland where they were booked, cited and released.

Work to erect a border of double-stacked shipping containers around the park is underway.

The following message was sent to the campus community at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4:

Police activity in the area of the People’s Park construction site. Avoid campus properties, the Underhill parking lot and streets in the Southside neighborhood. This includes the roads south of Durant Avenue, east of Telegraph Avenue, west of College Avenue and north of Dwight Way.

As part of the work related to the closure of the People’s Park construction site roads will be closed in this area and traffic may be impacted. We anticipate the operation will take six days. Sidewalks immediately adjacent to People’s Park will be closed for the duration of the construction project.

If you work in the affected area, please consult with your supervisor regarding remote work options.