Lemoore to tear out 70 trees causing infrastructure problems

LEMOORE, Calif. - Trees have become a concern along a popular street in a South Valley Neighborhood. The roots are causing major damage along Fox Street in Lemoore. City officials said at least 70 trees must go but not everyone is on board with that plan.

"It's a beautiful area, we appreciate the shade," Tony Cervantes, a Lemoore resident, said.

Cervantes has lived in Lemoore for years but he's new to the neighborhood. He said his family loves taking walks down the scenic Fox Street. But the trees he appreciates, will soon be gone.

"There's sidewalk issues a little bit, I mean they are lifted up a little bit but I mean there's ways around it, you can dig out the roots and recement it," Cervantes said.

"This area here you can see it's been repaired once, it's been grounded down and (it's) lifting again for someone to trip on," Nathan Olson, public works director for the City of Lemoore, said.

Olson said doing what Cervantes suggest, is not that easy.

"What we have to deal with is being ada compliant, you have slopes and grades, people have asked me why can't you just lift the sidewalk then you have slopes, fall offs, maybe handle rails, it's just not feasible," Olson said.

Olson said the $300,000 project is being paid for with tax payers money. So, Olson said he doesn't want to just band-aid the problem.
Olson said the trees are not just a hazard for those walking but it's creating problems in the roadways.

"You can see the standing water in the gutter pan here, that's from the curb gutter no longer has a slope for it to flow so it backs up the water," Olson said.

Olson said at the end of the day it's all about safety. Other residents we spoke with, like Barbara Limon, who says she just started taking walks with her son along Fox Street, agrees.

"They can always put trees back, it's not like they're going to be gone forever," Barbara Limon, a resident, said.

Olson said they plan on starting the project within the next several weeks. He said once it's complete, they plan on holding community meetings to talk about reestblishing the landscape.

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