4th Street Road Renovation Plan Moves Forward

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The city council set an agenda Thursday to be approved on Monday evening to go ahead with a $9 million project to renovate the roads on 4th Street.

However, there’s a group of people that are not happy, as the project will require all the old trees on the street to come down.

The plan includes a complete renovation of 4th Street between 6th Avenue East and Wallace Avenue.

The roads, sidewalks and curbs will all be resurfaced, in addition to replacing water main pipes, and sewers underground, as the current utilities are up to 130 years old.

The roots of the trees lining 4th Street reach deep into the ground, and experts have said there is no way to save them while the road goes through such a major facelift.

“In order to do a $9 million reconstruction on a roadway of this age with utilities this old,  it’s quite an operation to dig down 8 feet below the road and replace this aging structure,” said Steve Krasaway, Resident Engineer for St. Louis County. “The trees just can’t survive the amount of work that needs to be done on this section of roadway.”

The majority of construction will take place in 2016 and 2017.

The city plans to plant double the number of trees that exist today.

County engineers told FOX 21 that the lifespan of a Silver Maple tree is about 75 to 100 years. The Silver Maples on 4th Street are about 75 years old and nearing the end of their lives.

Regardless of whether this plan gets approved, the trees are going to have to come down sooner rather than later, as they will soon become a safety hazard in Duluth. 

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