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Pelham Parkway gets a little greener

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Pelham Parkway is going even greener.

Work crews are now planting 200 new trees as both part of the parkway’s reconstruction.

Crews for the city Department of Design and Construction began planting the trees along the main eastbound road of the parkway on Tuesday, May 21 as a continuation of the first phase of the $36 million Pelham Parkway reconstruction project.

The trees will be planted between Boston Road and Stillwell Avenue.

They’ll include beech, elm, dogwood, sweetgum, linden, elm, crabapple, pine, coffee, catalpa, black locust trees, and six types of oak trees.

The tree planting locations were determined by city Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Tree planting will continue until the end of the spring planting season,” said DDC spokesman Craig Chin.

After Parks performed a survey, it provided DDC with a layout that will increase both the aesthetic beauty of the parkway and ensure long term viability of the trees, Chin said.

Each tree was carefully chosen by a qualified arborist approved by Parks.

DDC planted 46 trees in April 2012, fulfilling its commitment under the settlement to a lawsuit filed by the Pelham Parkway Preservation Alliance to save as many trees as possible and get them planted earlier in the project, said Chin.

The plantings come at a significant time, since a number of trees along the parkway were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy or had to be removed to allow construction on the road to be completed.

“These trees are a little bigger than normal new trees that would be put in, but in years to come we hope they remain alive and thriving,” said Community Board 11 administrative manager John Fratta. “We want to preserve the look of Pelham Parkway.”

DDC was involved in a legal battler over the reconstruction project earlier this year when a group of Pelham Parkway South residents filed a lawsuit against the city over what it charged was a dangerous sidewalk installed by the city along the south mall side of the parkway.

Bronx state Supreme Court Justice Howard Sherman dismissed the lawsuit in early April saying it was filed too late.

The suit claimed the new sidewalk dangerously narrows the southside service road to emergency vehicles.

Residents recently decided to appeal the judge’s decision.

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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