Declining health, safety hazards have City, CDOT in agreement
LOVELAND, Sept. 19, 2017 – Thirteen aging and unhealthy spruce trees growing in the median of East Eisenhower Boulevard east of Sculptor Drive will be cut down within the next week.
The City, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and a private contractor will collaborate on the project to remove the trees on a date yet to be determined.
No one is certain exactly when the trees, some more than 50 feet tall, were planted along a country road that would become U.S. Highway 34. Longtime residents, including descendants of the original landowner, suggest it was about 1904.
During more than a century a combination of factors – insect damage, poor soil conditions, lack of water and just old age – have made the trees unhealthy and unsafe.
Family members of the early 20th Century landowner gathered Sunday, Sept. 17, for photos with the trees, a final farewell as Loveland Police Department and City Public Works Department employees managed traffic to keep them safe.
City and CDOT officials agree that the condition of the trees has become so precarious that a strong wind gust could topple one or more, a serious threat to the heavy traffic load that U.S. 34/Eisenhower Boulevard carries. They also represent unnecessary traffic hazards, as evidenced by the death of a motorist who hit one in the early 1990s after Eisenhower became a divided street.
If any of the wood from the tree trunks is suitable for reuse, the Loveland Public Works and Cultural Services departments will work together to preserve it for potential public art projects.