Trees a crowd on roads

Palm trees on the way to be transplanted in Alkjmos.       d435304
Palm trees on the way to be transplanted in Alkjmos.       d435304

The Canary Island date palms from Riverside Drive were transplanted to make room for the Elizabeth Quay development.

Trucked up to Alkimos via Anketell and Upper Swan with oversize escorts, the palms disrupted traffic with the longest delays experienced last Thursday on Marmion Avenue in Alkimos.

Two trucks, each carrying a palm up to 17m tall, were parked on Marmion Avenue for several hours, closing one lane.

Resident Hayden Morgan said the queue of southbound traffic in the morning extended more than 2km from Graceful Boulevard beyond Bluewater Drive.

Instead of waiting, he opted to travel north to Pipidinny Road to take his sons to school, dropping them in reverse order on Hester Avenue and then at John Butler Primary College.

�It was shocking it was right at school time,� he said.

�There was no reason for it; that was the worst time to do it.�

The trees were planted in Alkimos Beach estate and developer Lend Lease�s community businesses general manager Anthony Rowbottam said a traffic management plan was in place until the road reopened about 3pm.

�The trucks were parked in an area off Marmion Avenue that meant one lane was required to be closed to facilitate safe crane setup and lifting process,� he said.

�The Arbor Centre were engaged to facilitate the tree relocation and planting operations and set the site up in accordance with their approved City of Wanneroo traffic management plan.

�Additional traffic controllers were also provided in order to minimise disruption.�

Mr Rowbottam said they consulted St James Anglican School to minimise disruption, the traffic management plan designated work hours between 7am and 5pm and signage was provided.

Readers shared their frustration on the North Coast Times Facebook page, with several saying if they had prior notice, they would have allowed extra time or found an alternative route.

The first of six trees, which varied between 12m and 17m tall, arrived at the estate on March 24 and were planted near the corner of Graceful Boulevard and Marmion Avenue.

Mr Rowbottam said the developers were excited to bring the historic trees to Alkimos, which they believed were planted in the 1930s.

�The palms will feature at the entry to Alkimos Beach inside the grounds of our first school and in the newly completed playing fields, and we hope to install more of the trees later this year,� he said.

LandCorp chief executive Frank Marra said they focused on delivering infrastructure early, and the palms would provide shade.

�The trees are well conditioned to a coastal environment and will thrive in their new home, being a similar climate to the origin of species the Canary Islands,� he said.

Principal Adrian Pree said the St James community was thrilled to receive the iconic date palms.

�In a new school like ours, they are a welcome link to WA�s past and provide a wonderful foundation for the aesthetics of our learning environment,� he said.