UW News

March 9, 2006

All those concrete trucks will spell a new life for Frosh Pond

If you’ve been out on the central portion of campus recently, you know that pedestrians must make a wide detour around Frosh Pond. That’s because the pool that surrounds Drumheller Fountain is undergoing renovation to fix leaks that have been occurring for several years. The outer area of the pond, which extends underneath the sidewalk, is being filled in and the pond itself lined.

As part of that work, the area under the sidewalk will be filled with high-flow concrete, and that means people who remain on campus during spring break will be seeing concrete trucks — a lot of concrete trucks — according to Project Manager Elizabeth Kane Peterson.

During the two-day period of March 21 and 22, 250 trucks will be delivering about 2,500 cubic yards of concrete for the project. This will mean fairly extensive closure of the paved paths around the pond. The paved lanes of Rainier Vista will be closed to pedestrians, as will Benton, Lewis and Thurston lanes.

Students, faculty and staff are asked to look for and observe detour signs on these days. Detour routes will be provided to minimize interruption of campus activities. Flaggers will be posted at intersections and areas of merging truck traffic to assist with the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The outer area of the pond is being filled in to provide increased structural support for the sidewalk. The liner will be installed starting March 27. It will be mechanically fastened to the bottom and sides of the pond, up to the underside of the decorative capstone on the top of the pond’s walls. Once in place, the liner will be heat-welded at the seams, and the entire installation will be watertight. This work will require only a pedestrian detour at one point in the sidewalk surrounding the pond.

The pond has existed on campus in some form since the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, when it was called Geyser Basin. It later became known as Frosh Pond. Regent Joseph Drumheller donated a fountain for the pond in 1961 to celebrate the University’s centennial.

Frosh Pond holds 1 million gallons of water, and has been leaking at the rate of 70 gallons a minute. Previous repair attempts have not been successful. The project should be completed by May 1.