115 boulevard trees along Smith Ave, Dodd Rd, and Annapolis St. will be removed in early 2018 as part of the Hwy 149 High Bridge project. Reasons for tree removal as well as maps detailing the locations of the trees that are anticipated to be removed can be found here.
MnDOT will be working closely with the contractor during the sidewalk reconstruction portion of the project to save a number of healthy trees. Contractors will be using a front-end loader to dig eight inches deep when removing the sidewalks. This is ultimately where some trees could get damaged.
MnDOT will use a process that cuts the impacted tree roots and uses a regulator to stop future root growth. Trees that go through this process may still not survive and will need to be monitored. This process exceeds normal practices and has been implemented as a result of public input. Maps detailing the locations of healthy trees that MnDOT will work to save can be found here.
MnDOT will be replanting one new tree in 2019 for every one tree removed in 2018. The replanting plan is currently being developed and will include opportunities for public input and influence. Property owners will NOT be assessed for the resurfacing project or the tree replanting project.
Future city project
The city of St. Paul is planning to lead a potential fiber-optic project along Smith Ave. No trees will be removed as part of the project. This would be a separate project from MnDOT's Hwy 149 resurfacing and tree replanting projects.
Due to the potential for future impacts—if fiber is installed—MnDOT and the city of St. Paul will coordinate efforts and note locations where fiber could be installed. A location preference associated with the fiber-optic project could influence MnDOT's replanting project by limiting the types of trees that could be planted at a specific location during the 2019 replanting project. For example, in locations where fiber may be installed, trees that have a less extensive root system would be preferred. This will help avoid the new trees from being damaged in the future.
Public open house
MnDOT is planning a public meeting in February 2018 where project concerns—including tree removals—can be addressed in advance of resurfacing work on Smith Ave. and Dodd Rd./Hwy 149 as well as Annapolis St. Detailed information with regard to the open house will be posted and shared as soon as it is finalized.