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FDOT Work on Atlantic Avenue Threatens Trees

FDOT and the City are both concerned about the condition of the sidewalk on Atlantic Avenue between 8th and 10th Streets which has significant trip hazards. FDOT has closed off this section of Atlantic Avenue – we believe in preparation to begin work on the sidewalk. (Atlantic Avenue is a State Road, so FDOT is responsible for both the roadway and the sidewalk.)

Two (2) trees between 8th and 9th Street on Atlantic are Heritage Trees and have special protections which the City Arborist will be aware of. Not all trees may be afforded the same care. This photograph shows one of these Heritage Trees, In the phitograph, you’ll also be able to make out the City’s original hexagonal pavers which may also be threatened with removal.

In repairing sidewalks which have heaved, the International Society of Arboriculture recommends "bridging" a tree's root system instead of cutting. (Roots that have raised and cracked a sidewalk can be bridged with metal or wood decking and the trees remain healthy since their roots do not have to be cut. (Pictures of examples are below). However, in an open letter, the Sierra Club shared their understanding that FDOT has said that their workers will not "bridge" the roots. Rather, they will remove or cut the “offending” roots which is likely to lead to a decline in the trees. The City Manager is currently waiting to receive a complete plan of action from FDOT.

Amelia Tree Conservancy joins with all environmental groups on Amelia who are alerting their members to a possible threat to these trees as a result of the work. We encourage all our members to speak/show up to protect them and the historical ambience of our community. Please reach out to any or all of the following to share your concerns. Now is not too soon. Once lost, these trees are lost forever.

FDOT (District Two)

Greg Evans (Secretary) 386-961-7800

Carrie Stanbridge (Maintenance Engineer) 386-758-3744

Scott Lent (Construction Engineer) 386-961-7730

City of Fernandina Beach

Bradley Bean (Mayor)

Phone: (904) 415-5181

David Sturges (Vice-Mayor)

Phone: (904)624-4596

Ronald "Chip" Ross (City Commissioner)

Phone: (410) 394-0220

James Antun (City Commissioner)

Phone: (516) 547-5309

Darron Ayscue (City Commissioner)

Phone: (904) 780-4480

Charlie George (Interim City Manager)

Phone: (904) 780-4480

David Neville (City Arborist)

Phone: (904) 310-3484

Kelly Gibson

Tammi Bach

Lorelei Jacobs

Salvatore Cumella

Photographs of bridging examples from UFL IFAS:


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