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The Village of Park Forest is working towards resurfacing about five miles of roadway this summer. With that work, the Village is also replacing curb aprons, sidewalks, and streets.
Some residents voiced their concerns about the Village removing trees along the parkways where there's ongoing road construction happening in various neighborhoods throughout the Village, including along Rich Road and Rocket Circle.
Village Manager Tom Micks says one of the unintended consequences that sometimes can occur during infrastructure improvement work is root damage to trees which can threaten residents and their properties.
"In certain areas of our community, we have narrow parkways," Mick said. "Some of the parkways are three to four feet in width. Unfortunately, when you cut away curbs and sidewalks, you have the potential to cause damage to the trees' roots - which causes the tree to rot or become unstable."
Mick says with damage to the trees' roots, the trees become a liability and could potentially have limbs, if not the entire tree, fall on a person or property.
"So the Village must take a proactive approach to remove those trees, and we do that," Mick said.
Mick adds that with the width of Village parkways being so constricted, it's almost impossible for some construction work to not damage the trees. He said, per Village ordinance, the Village replaces every tree that was removed due to construction.
"But it's worth repeating, every tree that's removed will be replaced with another tree. This is done, so the Village can continue to have the mature tree canopy we've become known for in the community."