Tree planting nears completion in downtown Port Angeles

Tree planting nears completion in downtown Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES —Workers plan to resume replanting 42 new trees downtown Monday after snowy weather late last week delayed progress on the $119,490 project.

It should be completed by midweek, Public Works and Utilities Director Craig Fulton said Friday.

The work includes repairing sidewalks damaged by errant roots and replacing electrical connections for Christmas lights.

“City staff is working on the electrical as the trees are going in,” Fulton said.

All but one of the trees on the south side of First Street had been replaced as of Friday, and replanting will begin on the north side of First on Monday, then continue from First up the west side of Lincoln Street to Railroad Avenue.

Christmas lights purchased by the Port Angeles Downtown Association and put up by the Olympic Kiwanis Club should be brightening downtown by next Sunday, PADA board President Young Johnson said Friday.

“Certainly, the shop owners of downtown will be ecstatic to see their trees go in and the work completed,” she said.

“I know that it’s been a disruption for them and it’s been a concern, but now that the work is totally complete, next year we won’t have to worry about it.”

Marc Abshire, executive director of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, said downtown businesses still appear to be busy with holiday shoppers.

“When this is done, it will be great,” he said last week.

“The sidewalks will not be a dangerous place to walk.”

He added there was no good time to plant the trees except in the fall and early winter.

The trees were planted in 1997 and 2008.

They are being replaced with maples and Chancellor little-leaf lindens.

Portions of sidewalks have been blocked off while the tree wells and sidewalks are being repaired.

In November, the city was processing at least one liability claim involving a person tripping on uneven sidewalks downtown.

“The whole reason for this was the extensive trip-and-fall hazards along First Street and Front Street,” Fulton said in an earlier interview.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

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