Dozens Of Uptown Maumee Trees Scheduled To Be Cut Down This Week

BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR — Dozens of trees in the uptown Maumee business district are scheduled to be cut down this week in preparation for the next phase of the Uptown Maumee Streetscape Improvements Project, which will include fully ADA-compliant sidewalks and a more thoughtful approach toward implementing and maintaining healthy tree canopies in the area.

Helms Construction personnel will soon resume work on the west side of the 200 block of Conant Street and will continue moving southward, past St. Joseph Catholic Church and the closed entrance of West Harrison Street all the way to the Ft. Meigs Memorial Bridge. 

Plans also call for the workers to construct a small island in the middle of Conant Street to assist with traffic flow and to prevent illegal left turns onto West Harrison Street, which will be permanently closed to all Conant Street traffic.

A total of four large arches will also be constructed over Conant Street this spring, spaced at equidistant intervals between the Anthony Wayne Trail and the entrance of the Ft. Meigs Memorial Bridge as part of the massive branding effort for the uptown area.

Once that work is completed, Conant Street will be freshly paved from the Anthony Wayne Trail to the Ft. Meigs Memorial Bridge, capping the Conant Street portion of the uptown renovation project. City officials are hoping to have the Conant Street segment of the project done by June, in time for the Independence Day fireworks display on July 3.

The second phase of the renovation work will focus on the demolition and replacement of all uptown sidewalks and curbs in the east and west 100 blocks of Broadway, Wayne, Dudley, John and William.

The removal of the uptown trees is being done this week to comply with an Ohio Department of Natural Resources edict that prohibits the removal of trees between the months of April and October in order to protect four endangered species of bats – the tri-colored bat, the little brown bat, the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat – which nest in trees during those months.

The construction time-table for the uptown sidewalk work will depend upon the resources that will be available during the completion of the Conant Street portion of the project. The work will continue into the fall months.

Maumee city administrator Patrick Burtch said that the city is saving whatever trees are compatible with the uptown Maumee development whenever possible. For instance, two mature honey locust trees on the south side of the 100 block of West Wayne Street will be saved, while a rotted honey locust tree directly across the street, near the Masonic Northern Light Lodge, is marked to be cut down.

Burtch said that there are various reasons for the removal of the other marked trees. Crab apple and other fruit trees are not suitable for a business district, he explained. They make a mess of the sidewalks and provide virtually no tree canopy. Other trees have reached their age limit or are too diseased to be saved. Some have not been properly trimmed over the years and have become unmanageable.

In a recent count, 22 trees in the 100 block of West Wayne Street and another 12 in the 100 block of East Wayne Street have been tagged for removal. Num-bers vary on the other side streets.

Burtch has established a very proactive record of planting trees in Maumee in his role as city administrator, and he wants to assure the public that whatever trees are removed during the uptown renovation work will be replaced by an equal or greater amount of more appropriate, city-friendly trees in the fall.

“We will be replacing these trees in the fall with a more suitable tree for the uptown area, such as honey locusts and maples that will grow taller and provide a much greater canopy for the uptown area,” Burtch commented.

Burtch said this effort is part of a broader plan to provide the residents of Maumee with hundreds of new trees in 2023 as part of the city’s ongoing efforts to make Maumee a more beautiful and environmentally friendly community.

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