Friday, July 27, 2012

New sidewalks go in on Woodside

Planting strips to get drought-tolerant grasses


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

A steamroller operator smooths out a driveway entrance where a new sidewalk has been installed on north Woodside Boulevard. Photo by David N. Seelig

Sidewalks, curbs and asphalt-covered driveways have been appearing at the north end of Woodside Boulevard this month, a sign that the 2.5-mile, $5.7 million project is moving along as expected.

An irrigation system installation will begin next week to water a planting strip, or buffer zone, between sidewalks and the edge of Woodside Boulevard. The planting strip will be seeded late this summer with a mix of 60 percent tall fescue and 40 percent blue fescue grasses.

"This very low-maintenance mix of grasses grows 6-8 inches tall, is drought tolerant, requires very little fertilizer, and can be mown or unmown," wrote Knife River Corp. public relations personnel in a memo to the Idaho Mountain Express.

Knife River—the contractor for the project—reports that Hailey officials are seeking grants to buy up to 500 trees to fill the 20,000 linear feet of planting strips that will be available along Woodside Boulevard after completion of the project.

In spring 2013, Hailey officials plan to work with residents to facilitate tree plantings in the planting strips. Until then, people are asked to not disturb them by any landscaping activities or parking in the landscape strip.

The city is using a $3.5 million federal grant to complete the redevelopment, which will include bike paths, traffic calming measures, bus stops and a roundabout at the corner of Fox Acres Road and Woodside Boulevard.

The entire length of the road has been stripped of asphalt as construction crews build sidewalks and other amenities. A memo from Knife River stated that road barriers should only be crossed by residents who need access to their driveways.

On June 26, a traffic signal was activated at the southernmost end of the project, at the corner of Woodside Boulevard and state Highway 75. A new roundabout at Fox Acres Road is scheduled to be complete by the end of August.

According to Knife River, construction of sidewalks and curbs will proceed southward over the next few weeks until the entire road is covered in asphalt over the course of a few days in late September.

For more information, call the Hailey Public Works Department at 788-9815.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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