What will be the fate of our bridge trees?

By Tyla Harrington

THE Major Roads Projects Authority says it is assessing the findings of the report of a tree initially proposed to be removed as part of the Echuca-Moama bridge project.

Project director Nigel Powers said when it was completed his team would be speaking to locals about the next steps.

‘‘We’re getting on with upgrading Warren St to provide a safe and reliable main link to the new Murray River crossing,’’ he said.

The tree, on the corner of Campaspe Esplanade and Warren St, was to be wiped out to make way for a widened road.

But that decision was met with fierce objection from Jennafer Whelan who lives nearby the tree and continues to protest against its removal.

She maintains the tree, estimated to be between 250-350 years old, would be saved if Campaspe Esplanade at the corner of Warren St was closed, impacting only three residents.

Mrs Whelan met with VicRoads recently and said there was ‘‘some positive news’’ about the tree.

‘‘I was not able to obtain a copy of the report but able to view it at the local VicRoad’s office,’’ she said.

She said there were several recommendations to save the tree including closing Campaspe Esplanade.

‘‘Vicroads will ask each resident in Campaspe Esplanade and Anstruther Street on the dirt road shortly for their views on the closure,’’ Mrs Whelan said.

‘‘I ask residents to consider the positive values of the road closure in terms of enhanced living conditions, and that there will be no right turn anyway – therefore the time issues of travel are not a consideration.

‘‘This road closure will not only benefit the residents living along the dirt section of Campaspe Esplanade and Anstruther St but will save four mature river gums, including the magnificent Octopus Tree.

‘‘And give a quieter, cleaner living environment for now, and into the future.’’