West Fourth Street work means loss of trees – temporarily

Lots of residents in the city’s West End came home from work one day recently to find more than 50 trees missing from West Fourth Street.

Many of them were understandably upset.

A quarter of a mile of West Fourth Street, from Arch Street to the entrance of the Williamsport Area High School, is getting a makeover that includes total street reconstruction.

It’s impossible to do that without uprooting trees that are within a few feet of the curbs. Many of the trees were already in failing health.

The bottom line is that this major thorough fare has been in need of reconstruction for about a decade. That needed progress does not come without disruption and sacrifice.

But the loss of trees does not need to be permanent. City officials already have promised to work on finding funding to order trees and replant them once the street reconstruction is completed. We urge the city to follow through on that promise.

For now, residents need to remember this is a state highway project, not a city street project, and they need to remember they have been wanting it for years The city’s obligation is to meet accessibility requirements regarding streets and sidewalks. To do that, the trees had to be removed.