Lane Ranger: NW 16th Ave. roadwork to spare crepe myrtles

Published: Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 9:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 9:18 p.m.

The much-debated and long-awaited redesign and resurfacing on Northwest 16th Avenue west of 13th Street will soon start, which prompted this question from reader Gary Appelson.

“I would like to know if the county intends to preserve the unique median plantings of crepe myrtles and the tree canopy on the south side of the divided highway?” Appleson wrote in an email.

“16th Avenue is one of the most appealing main highways in Gainesville. It is a uniquely green main artery. What are the plans regarding its signature myrtles and tree canopy? Also, has there been citizen input regarding the median plantings?”

For fans of the crepe myrtles, the news is good. Brian M. Singleton, transportation engineering manager

Alachua County Public Works, said the trees will remain.

“The median plantings and crepe myrtle along Northwest 16th Avenue and Northwest 16th Boulevard will not be modified with the construction project; the County Commission decided to not include landscaping with the construction project. Additionally, there are no current plans to modify the median plantings and crepe myrtles after the project,” Singleton said in an email.

“The tree canopy and vegetation will be trimmed over the roadway and sidewalks to meet state safety standards; low hanging vegetation over roadways and sidewalks are a hazard to the traveling public. The trimming operations will be conducted with oversight by the County Horticulturists,” Singleton added.

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