Big Trees, Inc. was pulled into the Viaduct replacement project in late October with a mission of saving some of the large columnar maples planted close by, for use at a new Port of Seattle project. The large trees are approximately 30-35′ tall and provided a touch of landscape green, including beautiful fall colors to an otherwise all concrete structure.
Adjacent to the Viaduct, overlooking the bicycle and pedestrian trail, the large healthy maples will be re-used in a Port of Seattle project a few miles south, under the West Seattle Bridge. The trees have been owned and maintained by the Seattle Department of Transportation for many years but are imminently becoming part of the Viaduct demolition work by the General Contractor in charge of removing the old road structure, making way for the new tunnel.
Because of all the entities involved, it took considerable time for all the players to coordinate the right resources needed to make this effort successful. Shane Dewald, working with SDOT, often took the lead in coordinating and communicating the opportunity to not only save the trees, but to re-use them in another project that is ready for trees. Now, the new Port of Seattle project will have immediate large trees, adding an instant mature look for new roadside planting areas.
The trees were carefully dug, prepped with burlap and drum-laced with rope. Then the trees were rigged, lifted and loaded on a flatbed truck and trailer to be transported and off-loaded in the various planting areas staked out at their new home. The project went so well with the first (12) trees, the Port requested additional trees be moved. Once all trees were out of harms way near the Viaduct demolition, they were replanted in 3-4 large planting areas at a new road construction project the Port of Seattle had just completed off East Marginal Way South, near the West Seattle Bridge.
Many thanks to Shane Dewald of SDOT, Gary Wallinder from Port of Seattle, and Ryan Thorne of MOWAT for all the help required to get this done on such quick notice!