Douglas Shire Council is conducting targeted operational works in Warner Street.
Newly installed Water Sensitive Urban Design drainage will significantly reduce water pooling (which occurs almost all year round) and a concrete pathway and street lighting will deliver significant improvements in safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
Lay back kerbs and reconfiguration of the concrete borders of garden beds will provide sufficient room for a small bobcat clean gutters along the length of the street, resulting in cost efficiencies in street cleaning.
The work will not require the removal of any Rosewood trees.
After six months work, all the Rosewood trees are in good health and there’s been no minor flooding during recent heavy rains. Work completed thus far includes:
- Removal of invasive weeds on the northern side of the street to prevent them being inadvertently spread during construction.
- Pruning of Rosewood trees to remove dead wood and improve health
- Installation of sub soil drainage infrastructure on the northern side of Warner street
- Extension of drainage network under Warner Street
- Clearing of vegetation along the new footpath alignment
The Rosewood trees are looking fantastic and even the three poisoned trees appear to be recovering (see below photo).
Tree trimming in June removed dead wood and the absence of stagnant water laying on the roots has contributed to their current good health.
The road will be closed from 4 to 22 November, 2019, including weekends, so that Council crews can install two new culvert crossings. The section of Warner Street between Owen and Grant Streets will be open to local traffic only (no through road) during these dates.
Council apologises for any inconvenience.
Council is doing everything it can to save the illegally poisoned trees on Warner Street, including daily watering, mulching and fertilising to improve their health.
Council will continue to closely monitor their health and work towards saving the rosewood trees.
The next few weeks will be crucial in determining if the poisoned trees will recover, as new growth flushes will occur following their yearly deciduous leaf drop.
Council crews have commenced the upgrade of Warner Street, a project likely to take three to four months, with completion well before Christmas this year.
A full scope of work including suggested time frames, traffic changes, information on the approach to kerbs, guttering and drainage and how the Rosewood trees have been considered, please read the full update, here.
In the News
- Council Investigating Illegal Tree Poisoning – 21 August, 2019
- Warner Street Update – August Update – 15 August, 2019
- Budget A Win For Port Douglas – 25 June, 2019
- Warner Street Upgrade – Works Start June 17 – 13 June, 2019
- Warner Street Upgrade Out For Consultation – 7 September, 2018
- Design Of Warner Street Upgrade Underway – 20 February, 2018
Preliminary work included two main activities.
The first involved removing invasive weeds on the northern side of the street. These weeds, including Singapore Daisy and Leucaena, could be inadvertently spread during construction so will be removed. Some are in garden beds on private property and in a few places, they’ve spread to the road reserve. In all instances, we will liaise with property owners or their agent before work starts. As advised at the workshop, all property owners with plants and/or gardens on the front boundary understand and support removal of gardens to allow for the pathway.
The second activity will be maintenance of the Rosewood Trees. Under the advice of our arborist Jim Scott, the trees will be pruned of dead wood. This will assist with their health, but importantly will reduce the occurrence of dead branches falling randomly on the nature strip and/or road. If required, there will also be crown lifting which is where the low branches overhanging the road are removed to provide sufficient clearance for vehicles to travel safely along Warner Street. This pruning will improve the health of the trees, reduce leaf production without impacting amenity.
Council’s overarching approach in Warner Street is to treat the Rosewood trees as an asset.
This is both during construction, and on an ongoing basis. The upgrade works will not require the removal of any Rosewood trees.
SPECIFICS OF THE WARNER STREET SOFT APPROACH
- New pathway on the northern side of Warner Street
- Repaving on both northern side shop frontages to align with new shared pathway
- Provision of subsoil drainage
- Provision of individual property gully inlet pits to be connected to new layback kerb and channel and subsoil drain
- Modification of access crossovers as required;
- Additional grated kerb inlet pits where kerb renewal installed at minimum grades
- Street lighting with underground power to light pathway and road way
- New water supply main and property connections on the northern side
- Renewal and reconfiguration of local drainage pipes and connection locations to trunk drainage network.
- The concrete path on the northern side of Warner Street will be two metres wide and will be a shared pathway to serve both pedestrians and cyclists.
- The path will run the length of Warner Street, connecting to existing paved pathways at either end of the street.
- Several properties have garden beds and/or trees close to their front property boundary. Where the proposed works will affect vegetation on private property, Council has spoken to individual landowners and gained agreement from everyone.
- A few of these front garden beds contain invasive weeds including Singapore Daisy. Prior to work commencing, Council crews will remove these weeds to prevent spreading.
- Power for street lighting will be underground.
- Lighting will illuminate the road as well as the pathway taking the canopy of the Rosewoods into consideration.
ROSEWOOD TREE MAINTENANCE
To minimise this and assist in keeping the trees in good health, Council will implement a maintenance program designed for this species, in the urban environment. It has been designed by the arborist and will include as a minimum:
- Formative pruning from establishment in order to ensure a structurally sound form and enable a long Safe Useful Life Expectancy.
- Periodic crown lifting for general asset and amenity clearances – i.e. lower branches removed from over the road to prevent contact with vehicles.
- Periodic removal of significant deadwood (recommended six monthly). Feedback from residents and traders indicate it is not uncommon for branches to fall from the Rosewood trees and this will reduce occurrence of falling branches.
For a few trees on the northern side, the surface roots may need to be cut to accommodate either the pathway or sub soil drainage. The pathway will be positioned abutting property boundaries so as to allow the maximum distance from the trees.
When this is necessary, as per advice from our arborist Jim Scott, steps will be taken to ensure the tree has the best chance of survival. These include:
- A clean, straight cut is recommended as this will minimise the area of exposed root.
- The cut will be “painted” with a substance to prevent tree root pathogens
- The tree may be pruned to compensate as advised by the arborist on the project team.
DELIVERY OF THE PROJECT
Council will project manage the upgrade and council crews will do most of the work, with specialist subcontractors brought in as required.
During construction, work crews will liaise with individual residents with regard to timing of works. This will ensure any interruptions to access and egress from properties pre-planned to minimise inconvenience.