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Traffic hindering trees removed from M-46

By Ralph Echtinaw

The coronavirus pandemic may have most of us sheltering in our homes, but the city’s Department of Public Works is still at work.

If you drive on M-46 passed McDonald’s, Subway, Commercial Bank and Kubin’s Furniture you may notice something different that you can’t quite put your finger on.

The trees growing up through the sidewalk on either side of the road are gone. They were removed by DPW personnel early Monday.

M46-1

In the foreground you can see a dirt patch where one of the trees used to be.

“We are removing the old trees on 46 from Pine to Franklin Street,” said DPW Superintendent Mark Abbott via email. “They have gotten so large they are ruining the sidewalk and have gotten too woody to trim effectively. Trucks also hit them going by. I have a sidewalk repair project planned for the area this summer after we get the trees out and take care of a few items. The trees have cost a lot to keep up and keep getting hit by cars. It gets expensive to keep up and when you replace a hit tree with a new one that is small, they look bad being a different size than the rest.”

“We really haven’t postponed work activities,” said City Manager Kurt Giles via email, “although we originally planned to be farther along with spring cemetery clean up than we are currently. Activities like gravel street grading, pothole patching and street sweeping are planned for this week. Line clearing activity by the electric crew continues. We have a focus on continuity of essential services while taking precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

But city hall remains locked, and the library is closed until the risk of infection lessens.

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