Palms toppled west of drawbridge

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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 lined 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 environmental engineer Joe Chance said the plan is to replace the existing palm trees with live oak trees.

Even though some of the trees look healthy, Chance said the palm trees are all diseased and would be removed, the ground treated and in October, five new live oak trees will be planted closer to the sidewalk to allow room for 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,” he said in July.

The installation of the live oaks should occur sometime in October 2014, Chance said.

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