Motorists driving to and from Wrightsville Beach Tuesday and Wednesday were shocked to see the row of palm trees lining the west access way to the Heide Trask Drawbridge cut down.
The NCDOT Roadside Division is working to rehabilitate the palm tree-lined area on the north side of Wrightsville Avenue that served as the staging area for American Bridge during the company’s renovation of the drawbridge.
The land is in the City of Wilmington’s jurisdiction and NCDOT environmental engineer Joe Chance has said the plan is replacement of the palm trees with live oak trees.
Even though some of the trees look healthy, Chance said the palm trees were all diseased. Five new live oak trees will be planted closer to the multiuse path the City of Wilmington plans to construct on that side of Wrightsville Avenue. A NCDOT crew will then install a hardscape landscape plan around the path to mimic the Wrightsville Beach side of the drawbridge.
“We have spoken to the city planner, arborist and the head of the parks and recreation division and everyone is in agreement that the palm trees do have a disease issue and they should have already fallen on their own accord,” Chance said in July.
The installation of the live oaks should occur sometime in October 2014, he said.