As part of routine inspections, 163 tree related hazards have been identified for repair works and the first 72 of these, along High Street and the Maude Street Mall, will take place this financial year.
Most of these hazards relate to damage caused to roads, parking spaces, kerb and footpath by the aggressive root systems of Plane Trees, the popular deciduous trees that line many of the city’s streets.
The works typically involve replacing asphalt, enlarging granitic sand surrounds, replacing damaged kerb and replacing damaged footpath to minimise disruption to the trees. Eight plane trees in High Street will be removed due to them outgrowing their surrounds to remove the risk of further damage to public infrastructure. Some other trees will have minor maintenance pruning done at the same time.
Director Infrastructure Steve Bowmaker said, “My teams have come up with some innovative treatments to reduce hazards and conserve as many trees as we possibly can but eight of the trees need to be removed to limit damage to public assets and private property. A qualified arborist will be on site during these works to ensure that tree conservation measures are used at all times.
These works supplement existing works in the CBD to work around the root systems of our street trees so that we can continue to enjoy the visual amenity and health benefits of our Urban Forest.”
Works will begin on 4 May in High Street with tree removal and repair works to replace concrete and add granitic sand to be completed by 30 June.
“The biggest impacts for shoppers and traders will occur with saw cutting of the concrete and tree removal, mulching and excavating. This is noisy work and we will try to as much of it early in each day to minimise disruption,” said Mr Bowmaker.
The works will involve:
- Lane Closure – East Bound along High Street
- The left hand lane from Wyndham Street eastbound along High Street to North Street will be closed from 4 May in sections as the work crews move along High Street. Works are anticipated to be completed along this section on Friday 15 May.
- Lane Closure – West Bound along High Street
- The left hand lane from North Street westbound along High Street to Wyndham Street will be closed in sections from 15 May as the work crews move along High Street. Works are anticipated to be completed along this section on Wednesday 27 May.
Wyndham Street to Welsford Street – Welsford Street to Wyndham Street
- Maintenance works along this section of High Street will commence on Wednesday 27 May and will be minimal with very little disruption to traffic expected. Works along this section are anticipated to be completed on Wednesday 8 June.
Maude Street Mall
- Maintenance works are scheduled to commence in the Maude Street Mall on Thursday 4 June. The planned works are minor in nature and should have minimal impact on pedestrian and shopkeeper activities. Works in the Maude Street Mall are anticipated to be completed by Tuesday 30 June.
Mr Bowmaker said “parts of the pavement in High Street will be sectioned off but pedestrians will still have access to shops although parking will be affected in those sections being worked on.”
“The work of repairing the asphalt and replacing concrete is a relatively quiet activity and will take the bulk of time allocated to this project,” he said. “The trees in the Mall will be subjected to repair work only with none being removed.”
Shepparton’s Urban Forest is a valuable asset and Council will shortly commence work on developing an Urban Forest Strategy to guide future investment and conservation of tree assets.