The improvements to the berm and walkways on the north side of Autzen will be constructed in a manner that will provide better access and safety for fans entering and exiting the stadium. The existing pedestrian ramps, which were built with the original stadium, will be removed and the berm will be reshaped to provide pathways that are universally accessible.
Broad stairways placed at multiple locations will improve foot traffic. With the elevation change from street level to the concourse, the project creates walkways, stairs and terraces, along with seating walls within the landscapes to ensure an enjoyable experience during ingress and egress from the north side of Autzen.
In addition to the circulation improvements, the entire north side will incorporate enhanced landscapes and spectator amenities, providing a sharp new look for fans and passers-by on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. The inspiration for these features is a "Pacific Northwest" landscape. Most of the plant material used will be native to the region, comprised of large conifer trees, ferns, Oregon grape, vine maples and native groundcovers. Spectator gathering and resting places along the pathways will be incorporated into these landscapes. These waysides include seating and drinking fountains while offering exceptional views of the Autzen complex, the Willamette Valley and the surrounding foothills of both the Cascade and Coastal mountain ranges.
In addition to native landscapes, many sustainable elements will be incorporated into the project such as recycled materials, storm water treatment landscapes, drip irrigation and energy efficient lighting.
The initiative responds to the needs outlined in a spring 2012 independent consultant report and addresses the ingress and egress at Autzen Stadium as congestion issues increased with increased attendance.
The updates, which will not impact the seating capacity, are generously being funded by a private donation. No University or public funds have been or will be used in the design or construction of the modifications.
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