• Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Google+
  • Share via Email
The New Cumberland Avenue: Safer, More Functional - and Also Greener 

The two-year top-to-bottom reconstruction of Cumberland Avenue will be substantially completed this week – on time and within budget.

Cumberland between 17th and 22nd streets has been transformed into a safer, more pedestrian-friendly corridor with new utility infrastructure, wider sidewalks, improved traffic flow, a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections. The public investment of $25 million has helped leverage more than $190 million in private investment.

The new Cumberland also will be greener - both leafier and more sustainably responsible - than ever.

That last part might be easy to overlook for now, since many of the beds and "Silva Cell" root boxes designed to boost tree health haven't been planted yet; that will come with cooler weather this fall.

Over the next four months, look for nearly 100 trees - ranging from round-lobed sweetgums to lacebark elms - to be planted.

Fountain grass, wild prairie rose, blue Pacific juniper, big blue liriope, spreading Japanese plum yew, frosty curls sedge and brigadoon St. John's wort are among the ground covers being landscaped along Cumberland Avenue.
Fountain grass, wild prairie rose, blue Pacific juniper, big blue liriope, spreading Japanese plum yew, frosty curls sedge and brigadoon St. John's wort are among the ground covers being landscaped along Cumberland Avenue.


"The project team wanted to ensure that visitors, residents and stakeholders who choose to spend time along the new Cumberland are rewarded with pleasant experiences," said Anne Wallace, the City's Deputy Director of Redevelopment and the Cumberland project manager. "A big part of that involved creating the right atmosphere, where visitors will enjoy trees and robust plantings, as well as wide inviting sidewalks and easy transit connections.

"Less visible but equally important are the many sustainable features built into the new Cumberland. That ranges from the improved lighting quality from energy-efficient LED streetlights to the new stormwater infrastructure that filters much of the trash and pollution and will help ensure that the run-off water reaching Third Creek will be the cleanest it's ever been in modern times."

Medians have been installed to improve traffic flow by directing left turns. They also enhance pedestrian safety. Along the new Cumberland, these medians will be planted with an array of shrubs, trees and ground covers. A built-in irrigation system will water the new beds.
Medians have been installed to improve traffic flow by directing left turns. The medians also enhance pedestrian safety. Along the new Cumberland, these medians will be planted with an array of shrubs, trees, grasses and ground covers. A built-in irrigation system will water the new beds.

New plantings along Cumberland will make The Strip greener than it's ever been.
Hundreds of new plantings along Cumberland will make The Strip greener than it's ever been.


Wallace also points out the Cumberland Avenue design team embraced the widespread use of the Silva Cells - a trademark product name for a box-like structure that's considered a significant improvement over traditional planting methods. Silva Cells provide greater soil volume, and they support the weight of the overhead sidewalk and reduce the need to compact the soil to support the sidewalk, which helps the tree roots.

Check out the "before" and "after" photos below, and get more details about Silva Cell technology by reading this 2016 City Blog post.

Silva cells being installed....
Silva cells being installed last year on the western end of Cumberland Avenue....

...and what the same stretch of Cumberland now looks like.
...and what the same stretch of Cumberland now looks like.

Be sure to visit Cumberland Avenue again in late fall, once the big trees have been planted!

 

Posted by evreeland On 14 August, 2017 at 12:01 PM  

 
Content Alert Subscription
    RSSSpaceBlog Feeds
    RSSSpacePodcast Feeds