Tree removal for an improved Capitol Highway
No one's calling it Stumptown Two, but the clearing of trees has begun to make way for the multi-million dollar project to re-do Southwest Capitol Highway.
"While it's been hard to watch trees being cut down, I take heart in knowing that our neighborhood will ultimately gain more trees from this project than we have today," volunteer Chris Lyons wrote in a message to the project's neighbors. "In total, the Portland Bureau of Transportation expects to cut 268 existing trees and plant 390 new trees."
Tree cutting is the latest phase of a project that could cost $25 million. Sidewalks and bike lanes will be built along the one-mile stretch of Capitol Highway that runs from the Multnomah Bridge to the Crossroads where Barbur Boulevard and I-5 converge. Major improvements to sewer and water systems are also part of the project.
This first phase of tree cutting took place on Capitol Highway and along Multnomah Boulevard near the U.S. Post Office. PBOT staff reported, "Biologists did not find any bird nests that would have delayed work."
The next phase will take out 60 trees along the south side of Multnomah Boulevard and another 20 along Capitol Highway. Crews will spend the summer removing tree stumps.
Lyons, who chairs the SW Capitol Highway Subcommittee of the Multnomah Neighborhood Association, informed neighbors that more than a thousand trees had been saved, including all the "community trees" deemed significant enough to save at neighborhood meetings 10 years ago.
"(Saving those trees) is due to our work over the past few years stressing the importance of trees to our neighborhood," he wrote.
The only work scheduled along Capitol Highway in May will be done by crews from NW Natural, PGE, Century Link, Comcast, and the Portland Water Bureau, who will be relocating systems infrastructure for the next three months. That work will include occasional lane closures with flaggers.
For details on the big detour beginning in May, see accompanying story.
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