PULLMAN — Phase III of the Library Road project is running ahead of schedule, and much activity is expected over the next few weeks, especially at the north end of the area, according to James Stone, construction engineer with Capital Planning and Development.
 
Sections originally scheduled for the 2009 construction season are expected to be completed this fall. This will involve removal of selected trees as outlined in the revised Library Road project plan presented by WSU President Elson S. Floyd to a group of faculty and staff in late August.
 
Under that revised plan, several trees slated to be removed near Avery Hall will be preserved. This includes the large red oak in the middle of the yard and most other trees west of Hello Walk.
 
In the overall courtyard area, seven trees will be retained, while eight will be removed and replaced in the general area. The eight include two trees close to Avery Hall west of Hello Walk — one diseased and one that would be impacted by construction of a retaining wall – and six trees along Library Road east of Hello Walk that will be removed to allow the road to be widened. The widened road will facilitate bus parking and pedestrian and emergency access.
 
The Library Road Phase III Project has multiple purposes, according to Phillip Wright, project manager with Capital Planning and Development. These include a safer pedestrian environment for students, faculty and staff on Library Road, combined with long-term beautification through well designed landscaping and tree plantings plus an increase in the area and quality of green spaces.
 
Key practical goals include improved ADA and pedestrian access to Library Road and Hello Walk, improved bus access to Kimbrough Hall, underground utility upgrades, underground tunnel rehabilitations, improved drainage, and an improved “transit hub” at the intersection of Thatuna and Campus avenues.
 
“Importantly, more trees will be planted than are removed,” Wright said. “Those trees will be well suited for our climate and their planted location.”
 
He added that the project is establishing landscaping that complements the fine architecture on the campus, that is well suited to its planted location, that doesn’t present risk to people or buildings, and is sustainable as the campus continues to grow as world class institution.
 
“We look forward to a time in the near future when the WSU community can fully enjoy the new Library Road environment and all the improvements that will come with it,” Wright said.