Trees along the Northbourne Avenue, the Federal Highway and Flemington Road corridor will begin to be removed in sections from next week as construction continues on Canberra’s light rail project.
“As the community will be aware, to build light rail we will have to remove and replace trees along the light rail corridor. Overall more trees will be replanted as a result of the project,” Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris said.
“The removal of trees will begin next week to assist with the relocation of utilities, and allow room for track laying and building light rail stops.
“From next week and through 2017, trees will be removed in three stages in different areas of Northbourne Avenue and the Federal Highway.
“Some trees have been removed already due to recent damage they sustained from storms and poor health as indentified in our ongoing monitoring of this important transport route. Some trees are also reaching the end of their lifespan along the Northbourne Avenue transport corridor.
“This is a significant milestone for the project, and we know the community will be very interested in how and when the trees are removed. The first stage of tree removal will begin next week and continue up until Friday 23 December 2016, weather permitting, and is expected to involve the removal of approximately 120 trees.
“Work will then continue in the New Year on the next stage of the tree removal along the inner row of the median strip to allow for the installation of the trackbed for light rail.
“More trees will be replanted along the light rail corridor, and replacement trees have already arrived at the Yarralumla Nursery to be replanted along the route. These trees are being monitored by horticultural experts to manage their growth, and we expect they will be ready to start planting in late Spring, early Summer 2017.
“We are also working with local organisations to reuse and recycle some of the removed trees. There are exciting opportunities for reuse and recycling with schools and other community organisations.
“Safety is also a key component for workers, pedestrians, motorists and other road users during the staged tree removal program. At times, various lanes along parts of the corridor will be closed to allow for the safe removal of trees.
“I would like to thank the community for their patience during this important part of the light rail construction and we look forward to seeing the project continue to take shape and uphold the grand boulevard of Northbourne Avenue,” Minister Fitzharris concluded.
More information on the tree removal program, including an update on the stages of works can be found on the Transport Canberra website at www.transport.act.gov.au