Tree removal, roadway project humming along this week 

Jul 11, 2019 by

Published July 11, 2019


NORTH READING — By all accounts the road reconstruction project on Peter and Anthony roads, as well as the shorter connecting streets between them of Victoria and Richard roads remains on schedule, with tree removal begun this week.

DPW Director Patrick Bower told the Transcript on Tuesday morning, “It’s going very well. We started yesterday with tree removal. They took quite a bite out of the project. We finished all but three of the trees and we were back today to finish the last few.”

Bower added, “We’ll be following that up with stump grinding.”

Town Engineer John Klipfel explained that a bigger crane was needed for those three trees. “The crane will be here (Wednesday) morning to remove the last three big trees.”

JUST ONE example of dozens of mostly maple trees that had to be removed in the Peter and Anthony Road neighborhood this week due to large root systems taking over grass strips and compromising sidewalks and the roadway. Stump grinding will follow in the next phase of this major reconstruction project. A total of 38 trees were removed. (Maureen Doherty Photo)

Klipfel said 31 trees were originally slated to be removed – all of which were planted within the grass strip between the street and the sidewalk. But of those trees, five were small enough that they were allowed to remain.

However, during a follow up visit to the neighborhood after the shade tree public hearing in June he visited the neighborhood with an arborist.

During that visit they reviewed any trees that were located behind the sidewalk that may negatively impact the construction project if allowed to remain as they need to preserve the integrity of the pavement and maintain access on the sidewalks, the majority of which were impassable due to extremely large root systems every few feet.

“We identified 12 more trees behind the sidewalk that would impact the (new) sidewalk. All those trees were close to the right of way line and the property line,” Klipfel said. He obtained “right of entry forms” from the property owners to sign off on their removal after explaining the impact the trees would create in the coming years. “So the total trees we removed was 38,” he said.

Some of the additional 12 additional trees were located on Richard and Victoria roads as well as Peter and Anthony roads, he added.

“There were some very large trees that the property owners were very happy we were removing,” Klipfel said.

One feature unique to this project in this neighborhood, according to Bower, has been their ability to incorporate a hook up to sump pump drains of many homeowners into the street drainage. This was done for public safety reasons because the DPW had made note of the high number of homes with hoses criss-crossing front yards and traversing sidewalks for long periods of time, often creating icing conditions during the colder months.

Also, due to the high number of trenches that needed to be dug during preliminary work when replacing old water services and drainage, this project will be paved over parts of two seasons. They will pave it to a binder coat this year and then wait until next year to complete the final pavement course. That way any settling that may occur will not impact the final coat giving the project better longevity.

When all is said and done this project will represent about a $1 million investment in the town’s infrastructure and roadway improvement program.

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