New Sidewalks near Harstad

This piece was originally published on mastmedia.plu.edu here

Many Lutes have stumbled over the cracked and cragged sidewalks on Park Avenue across from Harstad Hall, but Pierce County Public Works is working to make those struggles a thing of the past.

Work to improve the sidewalk along Park Avenue between 125th Street South and Garfield Street South began Aug. 31 and is expected to conclude mid-September. Garfield Street South will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for 10 days during the final stages of the project.

New additions include curb extensions, lights and rectangular rapid flash beacons to improve the visibility of pedestrian crossings. In addition, ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act will be installed on the east side of Park Avenue South at 122nd Street South and Garfield Street South.

“This work to improve pedestrian access will benefit local businesses, Pacific Lutheran University students and faculty and the surrounding neighborhood,” said Pierce County Public Works engineer Brian Stacy in a press release.

Crews removed the vegetation and trees before the school year started.

PLU contributed $50,400 to the $966,675 project.

“I think it’s really nice that the university recognizes that we do have students with disabilities,” senior Shiori Oki said. “Even as an able-bodied person, it can be cumbersome to not have a sidewalk and feel like you have to walk in the street.”

Oki lives off-campus and said her walk to and from class can be dangerous because of the lack of sidewalks, especially late at night. Pierce County Public Works currently has no plans to add sidewalks north of Garfield Street South.

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