River project progressing
Students once again will see trees along Garfield Avenue on the Chippewa River bank in coming months, said Terry Classen, director of Facilities Planning and Management.
He said as of right now, the riverbank stabilization project’s completion is heavily reliant on the weather.
“If weather doesn’t become harsh, then the project will be done the week of Dec. 12,” Classen said.
In addition, he said he expects Garfield Avenue and the Hill to be a two-way street by the week of Nov. 14.
Senior Jessie Kessler said she’s looking forward to the Hill being open to traffic again.
“It’s just a pain trying to get from Lower Campus to Upper Campus,” she said.
The riverbank is being stabilized using a method called concrete cassions. The process involves drilling deep holes into the riverbed and filling them with concrete.
Overall, Classen said he is pleased with the progress made.
It’s gone pretty well,” he said. “It’s a challenge, and it’s been difficult.”
Those difficulties are due, in part, to a later starting date. Classen said he had originally wanted the project to start following spring commencement in order for it to be done by the time students came back for fall semester; however, a permit couldn’t be obtained until mid-July.
He said the project has remained on budget. The university obtained $1.2 million from the state to complete the process in 1999, Classen said in a Sept. 2 Spectator article.
Once the stabilization is completed, he said rocks will be covered with soil and trees will be planted along the bank. He added that other vegetation will be planted to cover the rock.
“What you see out there, it’s going to look like that for a long time,” Classen said. A guardrail will be placed along the river, he said, and a granite walkway will be added beside the road.
Kessler said she’s been curious about when the project will be finished and looks forward to seeing the end result.
“I hope they can get it done as soon as possible,” she said. “I think (the walkway) is a really good idea.”
Classen added he’s very happy with the way things are progressing.
- Sam Kramer contributed to this story.