CLEVELAND — Some of the trees that were cut down by a contractor working on improvements to part of Fulton Road in Ohio City were cut down by what one councilman calls “invasive work,” but he said a plan is in place with the city to plant new trees in the area.
A Cleveland councilman said some of the trees that were cut down by a contractor working to improve a section of Fulton Road in Ohio City were not meant to be cut down, and he said it was the result of “invasive work” that neither he nor residents were informed about.
A $9 million corridor reconstruction project on Fulton Road from Clark Avenue to Detroit Avenue is making that stretch a “brand new road,” according to Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack: “Brand new sidewalks, brand new curbs, brand new driveway aprons.”
And while the project did involve removing some dead trees, and trees where a traffic circle is being installed, the plan was never to remove the trees growing on either side of Fulton Road.
“The problem was that the contractors…weren't careful enough with the trees and protecting the roots to save them,” McCormack said. “And so from my perspective, the investment in the road is great and that's good investment and safe sidewalks are great. But they should have done more to protect these trees that, because of how invasive the work was, that they had to come and cut down.”
The councilman said that as a city we need to think more critically about green infrastructure, and they never want healthy trees to be cut down.
“We've got to be much more careful so that we don't end up having to cut trees down because of how damaged they were,” McCormack said. “We know how important trees are.”
McCormack said he has come to an agreement with the city to plant about 100 new trees on Fulton Road between Clark Avenue and Detroit. The first phase will happen in the fall, with the second phase likely in the spring. But it will take years before these new trees reach the maturity of the ones that were felled.
McCormack was unsure if the contractor would be penalized for cutting down the trees on Fulton Road, saying that he has not heard back from the city of the Office of Capital Projects.
The councilman encouraged residents to make their voices heard in regards to trees to ensure that future construction projects don’t threaten greenery in their area.
“We've got to protect our trees,” McCormack said.