Augusta engineering plans give information about trees on Greene Street

Trees on Greene Street on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023.

As the Augusta Engineering department oversees the work on Greene Street as part of the Transportation Investment Act projects, several residents have expressed concern about the number of trees getting cut down along the scenic downtown thoroughfare.

John Ussery, the assistant director for the Augusta Traffic Engineering division, said that the city contracted out the plans to an engineering firm with landscape architects and arborists who worked out which trees to keep, which to remove and how they would be replaced.

“There was approximately 200 trees on Greene Street,” Ussery told the Chronicle. “We removed approximately 60. And we’re planting back over 100.”

FILE - Assistant Director of Traffic and Engineering division John Ussery answers questions during a town hall event at Heritage Academy in downtown Augusta on Thursday, July 27, 2023 on work being done on Greene Street. The Chronicle obtained copies of the plans for the work.

The Chronicle filed an open records request for any records provided by the contractors about the trees, which was denied due to a lack of records.

“We hire these consultants and they have teams of people that look at various aspects of the project design, but they don’t hand us every single note they take,” Ussery said. “… But we don’t get all of that because I don’t need to see it. I’m not an arborist.”

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