A contractor is removing five trees along Capitol Way this week before repairing buckled sidewalks in an effort to eliminate hazards for pedestrians in downtown Olympia.
Estimated at about 30 years old, the five trees are located between Fourth Avenue and Legion Way.
Ron’s Stump Removal and Tree Service is cutting down the Armstrong maple and little-leaf linden trees whose shallow roots have warped the surrounding sidewalk.
The cost of the contract is about $18,500.
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“What we’re trying to address right now is the trip-and-fall hazards,” said Rich Hoey, the city’s public works director.
Following the removal of the trees and their stumps, city crews will replace the sidewalk at each site over the next month.
Those sections of sidewalk and any nearby parking spaces will close temporarily during construction.
The trees will be replaced when Capitol Way undergoes a repaving and street improvement project called “Greening Capitol Way.”
Although the project is still about five years away, the goal is to improve the streetscape while attracting more businesses and visitors to downtown Olympia.
The future streetscape between Legion Way and State Avenue is expected to include more environmentally friendly stormwater drainage as well as better access for bicyclists and pedestrians.
One possibility for the project is to reduce the number of traffic lanes on that stretch of Capitol Way from four to three.