Updated: 07/24/2014 11:26 PM
Created: 07/24/2014 11:03 PM WDIO.com
By: Zach Hammer
The future of Duluth's 4th Street was a heated topic Thursday night, as St. Louis County engineers discussed tree removal plans.
Some who attended the meeting at Pilgrim Congregational Church in Duluth reacted strongly, with several speaking out of turn during the presentation. Concerned citizens said that community surveys were inaccurate, even drawing comparisons to the controversy-laden Red Plan.
The reconstruction of the Hillside thoroughfare will require removing and replacing all the trees from 6th Avenue East to Wallace Avenue — a roughly two-mile stretch.
The engineer in charge of the project says that about half of the trees would have to be removed regardless of the project.
"A lot of the trees are in poor condition right now," Steve Krasaway said. "A lot of them have to be removed due to utility replacement, and a lot of them need to be removed to reconstruct the roadway. In the end, we're going to replant the roadway with more trees than it has right now, with trees that are meant to be in boulevards, and really revitalize the neighborhood."
The replacement plan calls for trees 2-2.5 inches in diameter and 10 to 15 feet high.
Most of the existing trees' root structure would have been irreparably damaged by the street and sidewalk construction, the County concluded.
The tree removal has also been deemed the only option if bike routes going both directions are to be built with the new Fourth Avenue — an accommodation for which the community has shown overwhelming support, according to Krasaway.
The $8 million project is still in its preliminary design phase. There will be at least two more public meetings before it goes to the Duluth City Council.
Construction is expected to start in 2016.
For more information on the project, click here.
Colorado Homicide Suspects Arrested in Cass County
A man and woman accused of causing the death of their four-week-old infant in northwestern Colorado were arrested in Cass County on Monday. Their baby daughter was found not breathing in an apartment on June 20.
Duluth Lightning Strike Victim's Condition Improves
A 12-year-old boy's condition is improving after he was struck by lightning on Duluth's Enger Golf Course. Nathan Burke was initially reported to be in critical condition after the lighting strike on Sunday afternoon, but Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center said his condition had improved to fair by Monday afternoon.
Father Still Critical, Daughter Fair after Cherry Lightning Strike
Essentia Health said a man who was struck by lightning on the Iron Range Sunday remained in critical condition Monday, while his four-year-old daughter was in fair condition.
Sergeant with St. Louis County Sentenced for DWI
A St. Louis County sheriff's sergeant has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DWI.
MN Rural Health Conference Brings Hundreds to Duluth
Almost 600 health care professionals are in Duluth this week, talking about rural health care.