Crews to Replace Sidewalks, Trees on Main St. West of Henley

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Crews to Replace Sidewalks, Trees on Main St. West of Henley

Posted: 07/29/2015
Early next month, a City contractor will begin replacing sidewalks and trees on the south side of the 700 block of Main Street, between Poplar and Henley streets. This is on the west side of Henley, on the same block as Church Street United Methodist Church.

Sidewalk ReplacementThe $81,000 project will repair the broken sidewalks and fix a design problem that did not allow 15 ginkgo trees enough space to spread their roots.

It’s a case of the wrong trees being planted in the wrong location, Urban Forester Kasey Krouse said. Some of trees in the block can be preserved, but unfortunately, most of the long-suffering trees cannot be saved.

Because the mature ginkgos are rootbound in 3-by-3-foot pits, their roots have badly broken up the existing sidewalks and have grown into the space needed for the replacement sidewalks. Those roots would have to be cut and removed, which could pose a safety issue if the trees were to remain. In addition, mature ginkgos can grow over 60 feet tall. The trees in this block are located under utility lines, which in the future could interfere with utility service.

“The good news is, we’re redoing these sidewalks in such a way that we can increase the soil volume and train ‘root paths’ of new trees so that the roots go deeper under the sidewalks,” Krouse said.

The construction is set to start Wednesday, Aug. 5. The new sidewalks are scheduled to be in place before the first University of Tennessee home football game on Sept. 12, with new trees to be planted later this fall.

The Main Street work is part of a larger $563,400 project to replace 62,000 square feet of sidewalk at 15 different locations throughout the City.

Click here to view more details about the sidewalk replacement project.