DECATUR — While construction delivered gleaming new white sidewalks downtown and red lights on Merchant Street, there has been a distinct absence of green.
The planting of new trees in the city’s $14 million streetscape enhancement project was delayed because of the drought this summer, Assistant City Manager Billy Tyus said. But it is getting under way now.
The project will replace trees along Main Street where there had previously been trees that were damaged over time. Tyus said city staff would monitor the new trees closely. Additionally, trees will be planted in previously treeless areas along Water Street and Franklin Street as part of the project.
In Central Park, the city removed eight trees that were damaged by storms or other forces, and five trees were taken out because of the ongoing renovations. In their place, Tyus said the city would plant 11 trees in the park and six on its edges.
Additionally, nine trees are being planted along North and South Park streets.
While the new trees in the park initially would be smaller than the ones they are replacing, Tyus said they are expected to grow to full size.
Varieties of trees being planted downtown include maple, oak, elm, Skyline Honey Locust and Sentry American Linden, Tyus said.
In other downtown news, the city’s contractor is set to begin striping Main Street between Eldorado and Wood streets, the 100 blocks of east North Street, East William Street and East Main and West Main streets.
Parking spaces in those areas will not be available Friday and part of Saturday, city environmental planner Vasudha Pinnamaraju said.