Old Mercer Street trees to get the ax for more lanes

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by LORI MATSUKAWA / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on May 26, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 26 at 9:28 PM

SEATTLE - Several old trees along Mercer Street will be cut down to make way for a new Boulevard. The City of Seattle is doing its best to preserve as many mature trees as possible.  The ten grand maples along Ninth Avenue were all analyzed by Department of Transportation arborists for robustness and are protected until actual construction starts later this summer. But then, four will have to be removed.  Six others further north will be spared.

"The Department is working to preserve as many of these trees as we can," said Seattle DOT Spokesman Rick Sheridan. "Unfortunately, where we're going to build this new Mercer roadway is where some of these trees are currently growing."

The city plans to plant 240 new trees throughout the entire Mercer Corridor project. Trees are planned for the north, south and center of the roadway.  In the area where the four large trees are being removed, the City plans to plant 49 trees.  "Ashes, elms, oaks, a variety of trees that are specially selected because we know they'll be successful in this environment," said Sheridan. 

Sheridan says the goal is to create a pleasant streetscape, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists. 

The City Council needs to authorize funding before construction starts. They are expected to take up the issue in June.  

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