SPOKANE, Wash. – Feb. 25, 2016: To help ensure service reliability and public safety, aging maple trees on South Grand Blvd. from Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center south to St. John’s Cathedral are being removed. Through a partnership with City of Spokane Urban Forestry and Spokane Conservation District, utility-friendly tree species will be planted along that portion of South Grand Blvd.
While beautiful, maple trees naturally grow to be 60-feet tall which is not compatible with overhead power lines. The result is the trees must be routinely pruned, causing short-term traffic delays, as well as potentially long-term stress to the trees’ health and public safety concerns from structurally unsound trees.
The work originally was scheduled to start on Nov. 18, the day after the community’s historic windstorm when the combination of downed trees and overhead power lines resulted in unprecedented power outages. The removal work is now expected to start March 1 and be completed by March 3. During this time, traffic in the Rockwood Blvd. to Sumner Ave. blocks of South Grand Blvd. will be reduced to one lane heading north from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Japanese lilac trees, paper bark maples and native shrubs will be included in the replacement planting, which is expected to be completed this spring by Spokane Conservation District.
Garth Davis, Spokane Conservation District’s forestry program manager, said, “The Conservation District participates in projects like this because it truly makes our urban forest more sustainable.”
"The City's long-standing partnership with Avista and Spokane Conservation District has been critically important in enhancing our urban forest canopy. Working with our partners on this project and future opportunities to plant the right tree in the right place will provide benefits to our community for decades to come," said Angel Spell, City of Spokane urban forester.
Information on planting the right tree in the right place is available at www.avistautilities.com/vegetation.
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 375,000 customers and natural gas to 335,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.6 million. Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.avistautilities.com.