Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Large Trees Causing Sidewalk Damage As Well As Electrical Hazard Removed On NE 45th Street

Trees before removal

 SDOT removing trees


Six large trees were removed in the 4300 block of NE 45th Street in front of three homes at the end of October.

The three homeowners have been working since then to put in a new sidewalk and grass and are also in the process of determining what new trees should be planted according to City arbor guidelines.  

An orange paper taped by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) on each tree prior to their removal said that the reasons for removal were "chronic eletrical hazard, damaging the sidewalk" as well as an "improper species near power lines."

Glen, Tree Trimming Representative, with Seattle City Light, said that "to repair the sidewalk damage from the tree's, the amount of roots that would be pruned to repair the sidewalk and try to save the trees, the trees would ultimately not survive or would fall over.  The trees had to be removed because of the electrical hazard that are present and whatever species is planted in their place will be the proper species for under the power lines."

The City only paid to remove the trees and the three homeowners are sharing the cost of paying for everything else - redoing the sidewalk and landscaping, which one homeowner said was roughly ten thousand dollars each.

A neighbor who lives near the area told us that she experienced an outage about three years ago and there was a fire in one tree.

She said:

City Light cut the trees back from the wires and acknowledged that there was some danger of possible electrocution if the branches got in the wires and someone touched the trees.
City Light offered to cut down the trees if I got a permit from the City of Seattle offices. I applied for a permit, but only a couple of months ago did we finally get permits for each of the three properties.  

Seattle's office of the arborist in the department of transportation declared the trees a hazard and then issued each of the three homeowners a permit to remove them and also insisted that the sidewalk be replaced for safety reasons.
The roots were also causing the sidewalk to lift up, so that it had become hazardous to passersby.

We all hope that the many parents and children that use the sidewalk will find the new-found safe sidewalk enjoyable. The trees also blocked some of the visibility available to those who choose to cross the busy NE 45th Street at that intersection.
Some small trees may be planted in place of those removed at the discretion of the individual homeowner.

The parking strip will be filled with sod and grass to make it level with the new concrete sidewalk. And some landscaping will be made by each of the individual homeowners.

 Trees and grass removed, new sidewalk preparation

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