MOUNT PLEASANT — Some residents are concerned about a major loss of trees as a result of a road construction project on Green Haze Avenue.
The Village of Mount Pleasant this summer plans to reconstruct the street, located near the intersection of Highways 31 and 38, to address drainage issues and deteriorating pavement. The $803,648 construction will extend south of Highway 38 to about Deerwood Drive.
The village plans to remove about 75 trees as part of the work. The road will be widened slightly and many trees are close to the street, village Engineering Technician Steven Houte said.
“We are trying to keep it as less disturbing as possible to the trees in the area,” Houte said, adding the road would usually be extended even wider.
Neighbors have mixed feelings on the work, with some fearing the loss of trees presents environmental issues and will damage the character of the neighborhood.
Steve Johnson, 63, said the trees provide a beautiful canopy over the street, distinguishing it from other areas.
“It will now look like any other stripped bare, suburban neighborhood, where they’ve come in and stripped out all the trees, put down a street and built new homes,” Johnson said. “That’s pretty much what it’s going to look like.
“This is really changing the complexion of the street pretty significantly.”
Mount Pleasant officials plan to meet with residents of the neighborhood to discuss the project this week.
The village uses a rating system to determine which roads should be reconstructed. Green Haze Avenue was originally scheduled to be reconstructed last year before design and other issues caused a delay.
Residents generally agree road construction is needed, Johnson said, though he is worried it will exacerbate what he said is a problem with speeding.
Part of the project is also designed to address drainage issues in the neighborhood, with plans calling for a minor ditch swale and curb and gutter. The work will help prevent small ponds that sometimes form residents’ yards, Houte said.
“There’s lot of considerations and a lot of thought went into this,” he said. “We went with this scenario so we didn’t have the deep ditches which would cause further tree removal.”