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Dozens of Mature Trees Removed For Drainage Project

TREESA part of Uptown looks very different now compared to how it looked just days ago.

Dozens of mature trees have been removed as part of a drainage project.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has details and reactions from some unhappy neighbors.

Uptown neighbors are making the best of what many are calling a bad situation.

They’re salvaging what they can of trees that have been cut down in the first phase of a drainage improvement project.

“I disagree with it, but I have to agree with the idea that it’s going to make our community better from the stand point of the flood control and removal of the water that is definitely an issue,” neighbor Bill Rue said.

Crews with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began chopping down trees along Jefferson Street early Monday morning.

“All of them,” neighbor Jordan Riewer said.

Riewer was just about to start her day.

“It woke me up, it was pretty early and them when I came home from class they were all gone,” Riewer said.

Trotter asked, “Did you know that this was going to happen? No,” Riewer replied.

“I was confused, very confused,” neighbor Ian Wasbin added. “Betrayed bewilderment if you will.”

The 52-million dollar improvement project calls for tree removal in the neutral ground of Jefferson Avenue; between from S. Claiborne and Deneel Street.

It’s where crews will replace 3-thousand feet of underground drainage canal.

“There’s definitely drainage issues in this part of town, I mean I hate to see the trees go too but it’s something necessary to be addressed. If it fixes it I think it’s probably worth it,”

But for now, neighbors say the project, and the lack of mature trees creates a void.

“We like the ambience of the mature landscape of the trees and that’s what people feel like they’ve lost,” Faulk said.

Trotter asked, “How do you feel about this? Kind of sad,” Riewer said. Trotter asked, “Why? Well because my porch looks out onto them which were really nice, like they were blooming right now with really pretty flowers,” Riewer said.

“I mean very quickly as soon as the trees came down there were neighbors saying gosh it’s really change the look of the neighborhood already,” Faulk said.

Once the four year project is complete in 2017, landscaping is expected to be restored.