The University of Washington has started work on a $25 million project on the south end of campus, near Husky Stadium, that will create a pedestrian-friendly corridor for people taking the light rail line scheduled to open near the stadium in September 2016.
But to make it work, the university had to fell a few cherry trees first — 24 in all.
The trees were in poor condition and could not have been transplanted, according to the university’s arborist. The wood was saved and will be used to make furniture and art projects.
The most expensive part of the project is lowering Pacific Place, a short road that serves as a cut-through between Northeast Pacific Street and Montlake Boulevard Northeast, said UW spokesman Norm Arkans. The road will become an underpass, and a broad pedestrian bridge will allow walkers to cross the road without having to wait for traffic. The price tag on that portion of the project is $21.3 million and is being paid for by the state Department of Transportation.
As part of the project, the UW will bury a small road that runs from Northeast Stevens Way south to the Triangle Garage; the road is closed and has not been used for years. Once it’s buried, that stretch of campus known as Rainier Vista will become a lawn. Filling in the roadway and doing extensive landscaping in the area will cost about $4 million and is being paid for by the university.
Here’s a rendering and more information about the project.
In all, about 228 trees are being cut down. They’ll be replaced with 180 new trees as part of the new landscaping. Another 48 trees will be planted in other parts of the campus.
The work is scheduled to be done in June 2015. “It’s going to make that part of the campus absolutely stunning,” Arkans said.