Two large construction projects in Oakland will create travel impacts on Fifth, DeSoto & O'Hara during four-year construction process

People traveling in the area of the new O'Hara Wellness Center can expect to see new fencing installed at the top of DeSoto St. in January & March of next year, with new pedestrian pathways through Peterson Events Center and along O'Hara Street. No road closures are anticipated anticipated for the O'Hara Recreation & Wellness Center project through June 2022.


The proposed new Bed Tower building being constructed at UPMC Presbyterian hospital along Fifth Avenue & DeSoto Street will create new traffic restrictions in the area, however. Slated to begin in July 2022 and continue through May 2026, a single-lane closure will be in place on DeSoto Street resulting in one-way traffic from Fifth Avenue only, and a single-lane closure on the north side (hospital side) of Fifth Avenue throughout the project.


During preliminary meetings, the project team has demonstrated that three lanes of traffic will be maintained on Fifth Avenue through the work zone and the contraflow bus lane will not be impacted. Pedestrians can expect to be restricted on the north side of Fifth Avenue and directed to cross at Lothrop or DeSoto to continue along Fifth Avenue.


For transit riders, the heavily utilized Atwood Station will remain open (with minor staging impacts given its proximity to new construction fencing to be installed at the Fifth & DeSoto site).



Constructed on the former site of Children's Hospital in front of UPMC Presbyterian, the proposed new 17-story, 288-foot tall, 636-bed tower on Fifth Avenue will serve intensive care, step-down, and discharge patients, and will also include a 450-car garage and an entry garden outside, plus new retail, pharmacy, guest fitness area, family respite area, and more.


About the UPMC project, Bryan Cannon, design principal at HGA Architects, said "We are creating what we call a lifestyle village – three floors of accessible programming. The idea is that the hospital will not be read or experienced as a separate place but as a building that's strongly connected to and accessible to the community."


UPMC will present at another Oakland community meeting on January 25, 2022 to answer questions from residents and discuss how the Bed Tower will benefit the community. Specific details on upcoming restrictions will be shared when as the project moves closer to its start date.