PennDOT will begin the removal of 64 trees on Monday along Broad Avenue after a "curb to sky" trimming this spring caused an outcry among residents.
The trees were cut back in June as PennDOT prepared for a paving project along that street. Residents said the trees looked "hideous" and "awful" after the cutting. The backlash led to PennDOT agreeing to pay to fully remove the trees.
The project should be completed by early January, including the removal of the tree stumps, according to a press release from PennDOT.
The removal was held off until now because of statewide regulations to protect the endangered Indian bat, said Brad Brumbaugh, PennDOT assistant district executive for construction.
The tree removal will lead to parking restrictions on a "block by block" basis, he said, and traffic will be down to one lane during work hours.
"We just want people to be patient," Brumbaugh said. "It is going to impact traffic flow when you have one lane shut down on Broad Avenue."
PennDOT will also pay to replace the removed trees, he said, but those trees will not be planted until the city completes its streetscape project.
He said planting the trees ahead of the city's project would lead them to be removed again when work on the streetscape begins.
City officials are working to raise funds for the project. Brumbaugh said PennDOT's schedule is "a little uncertain at this point," and he said he couldn't comment further on a timeline for the replanting.
Penn Line Services Inc., a Scottsdale-based firm, will remove the trees. Penn Line is a subcontractor for Grannas Bros. Stone and Asphalt Co. Inc., the Hollidaysburg contractor originally hired to trim the Broad Avenue trees to PennDOT specifications.
Grannas will pick up the paving project along Broad Avenue that originally led to the curb to sky tree cuts in the spring, according to the release. The project "consists of two miles of paving and ADA ramp upgrades," according to release, and work will be done on Route 36, 31st Street/Mill Run Road and Route 764, in addition to Broad Avenue.
The paving should be finished by the end of June 2014, according to the release.