Just two days before Arbor Day, the first batch of 274 trees began to arrive at UMass Boston for spring planting, part of the final landscaping work for the soon-to-opened University Drive South, a tree-lined, two-way street with wide sidewalks and bike lanes near the new Fox Point Dock.
University Drive South is scheduled to open in June.
The trees, a collection of White Oak, Ironwood, Heritage River Birch, Sweet Gum, Tulip Poplar, Eastern Red Bud, Black Gum, and American Beech, will also be planted near Bianculli Boulevard by BC High and at University Drive East in front of the Campus Center and University Drive.
The landscaping work is part of the university’s ongoing Utility Corridor and Roadway Relocation Project (UCCR), which is moving campus utilities from the decommissioned garage under the plaza into new modern utility corridors beneath a reconfigured roadway. Construction of the project will add 600 trees total and is expected to be complete in 2018.
A tree inventory conducted in 2012 by Bartlett Tree Experts documented and tagged a total of 576 trees, from a variety of 41 species that are in the UCRR work zone. Two hundred trees were removed in 2014 and 2015 to allow for construction activities. Despite the active construction on University Drive South, an allée of Linden trees along Savin Hill Cove across from McCormack and Wheatley Halls has been preserved, and other trees were transplanted.
Once University Drive South opens, work will progress on University Drive West, closing the part of the roadway which runs near the new parking garage construction site and near the main loading dock. In addition, work will intensify in front of the Campus Center. Watch for upcoming Construction Updates for more specifics.