Cheney Free Press -

 
 

By JOHN McCALLUM
Editor 

Eastern expands lot to provide more student and game-day parking

 

John McCallum

This photo looks northwest from the current Eastern Washington University P12 parking lot towards what will be the southern entrance of the lot’s expansion planned for this summer.

In a city where parking is a perennial sore spot, officials at Eastern Washington University are taking steps to hopefully alleviate that – at least when it comes to students and football game days.

The university has received a mitigated determination of non-significance (MDNS) from the city of Cheney for construction of a new, 550-stall parking lot just off of Washington Street and north of Roos Field. The lot is essentially an extension of the existing P-12 lot that serves students during class time, and tailgaters on selected Saturdays during Eagle football seasons.

The lot will be expandable by another 150 stalls in a second phase, a phase that also includes plans for a new university recycling center nearby. The lot will be illuminated with 24-foot tall poles/light fixtures that are shielded and equipped with cut off switches so that the lot will not be lit after midnight. The lot will be accessed via a new roadway off Washington Street just north of the university’s Surbeck Services complex.

“About where Oakland is if Oakland went all the way through,” Cheney planner Brett Lucas said.

The lot will also be accessed via the current P-12 road on the south side, although Lucas noted this portion might eventually go away should Eastern’s proposed multi-use stadium expansion plans, The Gateway Project, come to fruition.

“It depends on what lens your looking through,” Eastern project manager Mike Davis said when asked about a Gateway tie-in. “What we’re doing is trying to add to campus parking.”

Davis didn’t have a estimated project cost because the university is still a couple weeks away from a final design. He noted there will be about 30,000 cubic yards of dirt removed from an area that has mostly be a wheat field in order to create the lot and access road.

According to information in the environmental checklist about 200 vehicle trips will be generated during daily use. In granting the MDNS the city found no native animals or plants would be threatened and that the zoning was proper for the proposed use. Stormwater will be treated and controlled with an on-site system, and any possibility of erosion on the hilly terrain will be controlled with methods such as appropriate landscaping and retaining walls where needed.

The public has until April 1 to provide comment to the city of Cheney on the project. Davis said if everything goes according to plan the project should be out to bid in late April, with construction beginning in May.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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