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Third round of plantings to buffer Bruckner Boulevard

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Residents living along the Bruckner Expressway service road near Coddington Avenue will see the dead saplings, across the street from homes, replaced by the state Department of Transportation.

Homeowners noted that a lot of the saplings, which were planted to provide sound barriers between the busy Bruckner Expressway and the homes between Coddington and Hollywood avenues, began to die shortly after being replanted a second time last year.

State DOT looked into the dead trees at the request of Waterbury-LaSalle’s representatives. The problem may be related to salt city the plows spray on the road when it snows. Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Councilman Jimmy Vacca are hoping that this latest planting will finally leave a full row of leland cypus and other types of trees and bushes between the road and the highway.

“I pass by that area a lot and noticed that many of the trees planted last year turned brown and didn’t look healthy, so Councilman Vacca and I got in touch with state DOT,” Assemblyman Benedetto said. “Of 120 [cypus] trees planted last year, about 60 survived. This is actually a big improvement over the first planting, where all of the trees died. Hopefully, this latest planting will do the trick.”

The trees, which are tall, provide a barrier between the busy expressway and several blocks of private homes.

“Assemblyman Benedetto and I have been working for years to bring relief to the residents on Bruckner Boulevard. We are extremely grateful that the state DOT is committed to this project,” Vacca said. “Planting more trees will help shield the noise and fumes that come off Bruckner all day long, and will create another visible barrier to the highway, bringing some peace-of-mind to local homeowners.”

According to Adam Levine, spokesman for the state DOT, the agency planted 120 leyland cypus, of which 59 survived. Levine said DOT also planted 9 white pines, 119 black chokeberries, 30 sumacs, 287 evergreen spreading yews, and 68 American hollies in the general vicinity. He said they will be replacing the leyland cypus that did not make it, as well as some other trees and bushes.

“Most of the trees did really well,” Levine said. “However, we lost 59 of the cypus. This time, we are going to put more compost to plant the trees deeper into the ground. We are going to also add vines, which should provide a visible barrier to the highway, and help the trees grow.”

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