The City is working on a pilot sidewalk replacement project that will result in new sidewalk; stamped concrete accents; and the removal of five of the existing 10 trees on the 600 block of Peace Portal Drive. The scope of the replacement project includes the block from H Street to G Street (east side).
Beginning in 2014, the City, in support of the sidewalk replacement proposal, has evaluated arborists reports, utility maintenance issues, sidewalk access and safety, storefront visibility, aesthetics and the natural benefits that street trees provide. The City acknowledges that the street trees add aesthetic value to the streetscape, but must balance this value with the safety risks caused by the tree’s root systems fracturing and buckling the sidewalk.
This pilot project is scheduled for this summer, and includes the removal of five trees on the east side of the 600 block of Peace Portal to be completed prior to a sidewalk replacement project on that same block. Three maples and two katsura will be retained. Based on the analyses completed, the City has determined that this pattern will still provide the ambience of the trees, and at the same time greatly reduce the damage potential caused by the maple tree roots.
A regular tree maintenance program will be necessary in order to keep any remaining trees healthy and to mitigate future root damage. This pilot project will allow all interested parties to examine the results and assess whether this solution might work for the remaining blocks of Peace Portal Drive.