Richland officials are addressing two street-scaping issues this month — city workers have replanted dying, damaged and stunted trees along a number of busy streets, and a subcontractor is fixing a design flaw beneath protective grates that surround tree trunks along several blocks of George Washington Way’s sidewalks.
The replanting effort was to wrap up Nov. 19 after about two weeks of work. Thirty-six trees of at least nine varieties were planted along Lee Boulevard, Jadwin Avenue, Knight Street and George Washington Way. The trees cost $6,900 and were planted by city staff, said Joe Schiessl, Richland’s parks and recreation director.
The sidewalk dirt-settling project began this week and should continue through the month, said Julie Nelson, a civil engineer two with Richland.
Seventy-eight decorative sidewalk grates line George Washington Way between Jadwin and Swift boulevards. About half were installed in 2012 when George Washington Way received $1.25-million repaving and resurfacing facelift. Dirt beneath those more-recently installed grates has settled more than anticipated.
“There were some flaws in the contractor’s work on the first project, and they’re fixing it,” said Pete Rogalsky, Richland’s public works director.
The contractor for the 2012 project, A&B Asphalt of Benton City, has hired a subcontractor to perform the repairs and is paying for the additional work, Rogalsky said. “It’s not something the public is paying for,” Nelson said.
A lean concrete mixture is being added to the perimeter area just below where the grates sit, Rogalsky said, to stop future settling.
“Nothing’s collapsing,” Rogalsky said of the surrounding sidewalks.
Trees surrounded by grates along that stretch of George Washington Way are maple, pear and oak.