Southwest Washington Way between SW 30th and SW 26th streets will look a little bit different when students return for winter term in early 2022. A single row of approximately 25 red maples north of the roadway will be removed, creating space for a city water line replacement to occur in spring 2022. Ultimately, the tree removal will make room for Washington Way to be relocated 10 feet to the north as part of the Washington Way Improvement Project. Work on the project will continue in 2022.

"The maples are about 25 years old," explained Bill Coslow, OSU's Landscape Supervisor. "But you can see that the tree roots are pushing through the surface of the soil, due to the way they were planted and watered."

Future landscape plans in the area include more diverse plantings, including mixed species of trees and shrubs. The plantings will add visual interest in the area, creating a more appealing pedestrian corridor. The large pin oaks across the street, south of the railroad tracks, will not be removed.

The trees are being removed a few months before the water line replacement occurs in the spring to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, a federal law that aims to protect native birds. By removing the trees prior to early nesting season, typically February until April, construction like this can minimize impacts to the area's native bird population.

The Washington Way Improvement Project will improve safety by reconstructing the road 10 feet to the north where it currently exists. The addition of a cycle track and wider pedestrian sidewalks will encourage more active modes of transportation on the Corvallis campus.

While the long term plan for the Washington Way Improvement Project calls for removing 90 parking spaces south of the Tennis Pavilion, the parking spaces will remain for the time being. Follow Campus Closures, Shutdowns and Detours to learn about upcoming construction work and its effects on roads, parking and travel in and around the Corvallis campus.

~ Erin Martin