The City of Mandurah is upgrading Lakes Road to a dual carriageway south from Pinjarra Road to Gordon Road.
Residents, who asked not to be named, could not believe it had cut down so many trees and expressed their disgust.
‘The council informed some residents they were going to remove some trees up to five metres from the road,’ one of the residents said.
‘They’ve gone over the five metre line, chopping down year old tuart trees, gum trees and banksias, including trees that homed native Australian birds.’
Mandurah Mayor Paddi Creevey said the Stage 4 road design would affect a significant number of trees in the current road reservation.
‘The land has been reserved for some time for the purpose of road widening,’ Cr Creevey said.
‘It was recognised from the start that there would inevitably be an impact on existing trees, so an arboriculturist consultant was engaged right at the beginning as part of the planning and design stage.’
The City’s technical officers prepared several design options for consideration, which would have varying impacts on the tree population.
‘Feedback from the local community during the public consultation period and public information session helped officers to shape and modify the final road design,’ Cr Creevey said.
‘As a result they were able to refine the plan to maintain as many trees as possible. A comprehensive revegetation program will be implemented to address the loss of trees and the benefits they bring.
‘At a time when we are more aware than ever of the importance of having green vegetation in urban areas, it has been a very difficult decision. However, we have to ensure that the road will take the traffic numbers now and into the future.’
Cr Creevey said the City was committed to preserving trees wherever possible.
‘But we can’t ignore the fact that the City has rapidly grown and will continue to develop, and Lakes Road is a key component of the City’s public transport infrastructure,’ she said.
‘That means its construction has had to be tailored to accommodate future land, vehicle and public transport use.’
Current traffic volumes on Lakes Road are about 8000 vehicles per day but the infrastructure is inadequate to cater for the city’s future growth and needs.