Thick SR303 tree canopy finally getting attention

The in basket: Vern Beeson in October sounded an alarm I’d heard before about the difficulty a driver can have while southbound on Highway 303 (Waaga Way) in seeing the traffic signal at Brownsville Highway through the thick canopy of deciduous trees that hang out over the highway.

Reader Martha Mealey had said the same thing almost a year earlier, in September of 2013.

Though I hadn’t found the signal to be dangerously obscured myself, both times I referred the complaint to the state. My state highway contact said last fall they’d give it a look.

Thursday, while checking out an unrelated issue at the 303-Brownsville Highway intersection,  I noticed several state highway maintenance vehicles lined up on the southbound shoulder of 303, including a wood chipper. So I drove down there and asked if it had anything to do with the tree canopy.

The out basket: Yes, indeed, the workers told me. At least they were starting on it, before the trees leaf out for the spring and summer.

Not many limbs had been lopped Thursday, as they started with litter cleanup using some Department of Corrections assignees, and swept the shoulder with one of the machines on the shoulder. They had to be out of the way and reopen the lane they had closed by afternoon rush hour and were loading up around 2:30 when I was there.

They’ll return to get more of the limbs, they said, as their four 10s work shifts allow. They didn’t know if that would mean the work will resume today (Friday).

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