Beginning December 12, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. as weather permits, crews will work to remove trees and roots in the median of U.S. Hwy 321 from Montvale Road to Washington Street. The outer lanes east and westbound will remain open for the duration of the project – expected through the end of February.
The project is part of the City’s efforts to improve the streetscaping and aesthetics of one of the city’s most visible gateways.
Over the years, the species of tree planted in the median has proven to be problematic. As roots develop, they spread laterally which damages streets and sidewalks. Several of the trees are diseased or dead. The lateral root structure has also prevented additional attractive landscaping elements.
To begin the project, contractors will remove the existing trees and replant Skyline Honeylocust trees in their place. These trees have root systems that grow downward and deeper into the ground instead of spreading along the surface. The Honeylocust trees were also recommended for their beautiful fall colors and tolerance of harsh conditions. The tree replacements were reviewed and approved by the city’s Tree Board. These plantings will be accompanied by native dogwoods, redbuds, and other ornamental shrubs.
“This is one of the most beautiful areas of the city fronting Maryville College, Jack Greene Park and the County Courthouse, said Brian Boone, Director of Engineering and Public Works. “This work will greatly improve the look of this area almost immediately – and will continue to improve as the trees and plantings mature.”
While this project is in progress, crews will add a pedestrian traffic improvement at the Jack Green Park/ First Baptist Church crosswalk. Pedestrians will be able to use a push-button actuated flashing strobe to assist in safely crossing.
For more information on this or other road projects, contact the City of Maryville Engineering Department at 865-273-3500.