WALLA WALLA, Wash. — During the summer of 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 1st Avenue Plaza in downtown Walla Walla was created for people to safely gather outside.
As restrictions constantly changed throughout the pandemic, the City said it was a location were people could visit, eat food and enjoy the ambiance of downtown.
Now, it looks like the plaza isn’t going away.
A LOOK BACK AT THE PLAZA: Public Streetery offers more seating for patrons
The plaza will become Walawàla Plaza which means ‘many small streams.’ On the city’s website, the details for the plaza have been listed out. They include:
- Design that creates a flush with existing sidewalk by using pavers
- Street tree removal and replacement within landscaped areas
- Ornamental trees within new water features, which will anchor the two ends of the plaza
- Parking restored to the south side of the plaza including ADA accessible spaces
- Signal modification at 1st Avenue and Main Street to improve accessibility and the modified use of 1st Avenue
- Existing water and storm water mains will be replaced
The City of Walla Walla has been working with the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute to incorporate elements into the plaza that represent Cayuse and Walla Walla people. They said that location was a trail crossing and gathering place for both tribes. Curved, stamped concrete will reflect Mill Creek and the Balsamroot Sunflower will be inlaid bronze, stamped into the concrete and planter areas. The flower or Pàšxa was prevalent in the Walla Walla Valley and the local Cayuse Band was known as Pàšxapu or ‘sunflower people.’
Construction is planned to begin on October 10th; Nelson Construction is the contractor for the project. The City said construction of the plaza between Main Street and Alder Street will last through December of 2022, but that excludes work in the Main and 1st intersection, shade structures, bike rakes, landscaping and water features. Depending on winter weather, construction will continue through spring 2023; officials said the project should be finished by April 30, 2023.
The city said the project is primarily funded through The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 or ‘ARPA.’ They’re also utilizing funding from water and wastewater revenues for domestic water system replacement and wastewater collection work.
COPYRIGHT 2022 BY YAKTRINEWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.