Landmark Tree on Kirkland’s Park Lane to be Removed for Safety Reasons

In April, the City of Kirkland began to repair the buckling sidewalk and prevent further damage along the north and south sides of Park Lane by installing innovative materials – Terrewalk and Silvacell -  at locations along the corridor between Lake Street and Main Street.  The buckling was caused by a lack of soil for the trees as they matured. When removing the existing, damaged sidewalk by the large Norway Maple tree located in front of the Jalisco Mexican Restaurant, the City’s contractor found that the tree’s roots cannot be trimmed without causing the tree to decline or fail.  In consultation with the City’s Urban Forester, it has been determined that due to safety concerns – especially with the high risk for failure – that the Maple tree will be removed in the coming days.  At the appropriate time in the project, a replacement tree will be installed. For project information, go towww.ci.kirkland.wa.us and search “Park Lane Corridor” or contact Gina Hortillosa, P.E., Public Works Department, at 425-587-3828 or ghortillosa@ci.kirkland.wa.us.

Aging and failing sidewalks along Park Lane, between Lake Street and Main Street, have become a maintenance issue primarily because tree roots are displacing sidewalk panels. Funding to study how to improve the corridor and create a comprehensive street plan based upon community feedback was allocated in the 2008-2013 Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

In 2008, the City worked with adjacent property owners, businesses, and interested citizens in creating a community vision and configuration of what pedestrian friendly features and amenities should be integrated with future development along the corridor.  Through this outreach, a festival street design concept emerged. Conceptual designs are available on the City’s website. In the fall of 2009, an assessment of the trees along the corridor was conducted.

Park Lane Phase I improvements address the most severe potential tripping hazards along the corridor.  In this phase, one sweetgum tree in front of the Lakeshore Gallery was identified for removal due to its poor condition, structural defects, and moderate risk for failure.