Moxee trees may be taken out because of sidewalk damage | Local

More than 30 trees along Moxees East Seattle Avenue are likely to get the ax to prevent further sidewalk damage.

City Council members are expected to vote next week on a plan for addressing the damage the trees are causing to the sidewalk and street, but City Supervisor Byron Adams said felling them may be the best option.

At least one resident believes the trees should not be sacrificed because city officials did not plant them properly.

They should have been mitigating this problem 15 years ago, said Dennis Pierce in a telephone call to the Herald-Republic. Pierce accused city officials of trying to eliminate all the trees.

But Adams said if the trees are removed, they will be replaced with a variety that will be less destructive.

About 35 honey locust trees were planted along East Seattle Avenue 20 years ago, Adams said. Over time, as the trees have grown, their root systems have caused nearby sidewalks to buckle.

Among the fixes considered were moving the sidewalks behind the trees, but Adams said that was not a workable solution as the tree roots were starting to push out curbs and crack the asphalt roadway.

The route we were going to fix this was a Band-Aid, Adams said.

Other options that are being considered are replacing concrete sidewalks with asphalt, or extending the curb out farther. But those options are pricey, going as high as $400,000.

While removing the trees is the cost-effective solution, Adams said nothing has been decided yet.

But Pierce fears the city is using the sidewalk problems as a pretext to get rid of all the trees and divert the water used to maintain them to new development in the city.

Adams said the city would replace any trees it removed, either with a species that has a deeper root system or with a root barrier to protect the sidewalks and roadway. He said only one tree has been removed, and that was because it was dead.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. April 28 at City Hall, 255 W. Seattle Ave.


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