For the most part, the brand new islands on College Avenue between Dickson and Lafayette are ready to go. All that’s left now is adding trees. But the City has indicated that it won’t be planting anything in the islands until later this year.
Leslie Tabor, a landscape architect at McClelland Consulting Engineers who helped design the new medians, sidewalks, and landscaping along College Avenue, says that waiting to plant is the right choice.
“It is best to plant trees when they are either dormant, as they will be in October, or during a time when there aren’t major extremes in temperature or weather conditions. The City is attempting to give these trees the best shot at survival that they possibly can,” said Tabor.
As for what kinds of trees will be planted, the City still hasn’t finalized those plans yet but has received recommendations. “It was difficult to decide which types of trees and shrubs to use, due to the extremely harsh growing conditions the median will provide and also due to the infrastructure located directly beneath the median itself,” Tabor said. “We tried to specify those with shallower root depth and minimal water needs.”
There is a water main that runs directly under the median islands that will be tapped to provide water for both the median and the planters along either side of the road.
The islands are included in the College Avenue Project which is a part of a street bond program passed by voters in the 2006 sales tax bond election. The improvement area stretches from Rock to Maple and consists of removing and replacing all of the curbs and sidewalks adjacent to College Avenue and adding trees and lighting. Traffic light upgrades/replacement, access improvements, and a complete overlay are also a part of the project.
In addition, the road will be widened in many areas and the radius of some intersections will increase to allow for easier turns.
Crews are currently milling College Avenue along the stretch but most of the work is taking place from 10pm to 8am.
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