PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence College affirmed today that it will close permanently the College-owned portion of Huxley Ave. (Eaton St. to Ventura St.) to all vehicular traffic on Wednesday, May 18th. PC had previously announced in February its intention to close the College-owned portion of the street sometime between May 15th and June 1st.
Beginning May 18th, all entry to the College at that end of campus will take place via Admiral St. The College’s main gate at Cunningham Square (corner of River Ave. and Eaton St.) and the gate at lower Eaton St. near the Smith Center for the Arts will both remain open.
After the February 26th announcement, the College held a neighborhood meeting on March 3rd to inform neighbors about the plans to close the section of the street to vehicular traffic. More recently, the College communicated information about two temporary, week-long closures of the street to allow for utility work that was necessary as part of the College’s “Campus Transformation Plan.”
The College purchased its section of Huxley Ave. from the city of Providence in December 2012 with an eye toward unifying the PC campus. For years, Huxley Ave. has divided the College with the main portion of the campus to its west and the portion of campus which lies on the former Chapin Hospital property (purchased by the College in the early 1970s) to the east. The purchase of Huxley Ave. allowed the College to undertake an extensive planning process called “Campus Transformation.” That process also took into account a variety of other relevant and complementary projects in the Huxley Ave. area, such as the construction of the Arthur and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies, the construction of Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium, a new softball field, the new parking garage and tennis courts, and the prospect of redefining the entrance to the College at that edge of campus.
With the closure, the College also seeks to address significant concerns about the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Several members of the College community have been struck by vehicles while crossing Huxley Ave. in recent years. The College’s desire is to eliminate any further incidents.