Six native trees could be cut back or removed for new Atascadero pedestrian bridge

Six native trees around Atascadero Creek could be cut back or removed to make way for the city’s new pedestrian bridge project slated to begin construction next year.

The Planning Commission is slated to hear the city’s tree-cutting request at Tuesday’s meeting.

Two sycamores, two black walnut trees, one 4-inch live oak and one dead cottonwood or sycamore are among the trees affected. Planners aren’t sure of the last tree’s species because of its physical condition, they say.

The new footbridge, a 160-foot-long prefabricated steel arch truss with a wooden deck, is designed to connect pedestrians from Sunken Gardens to Colony Square.

Some trees are in the way of the plans because the bridge is designed to lie specifically between two points that give pedestrians a visual connection between the two rotundas on the historic City Hall and the new Galaxy Theatre.

The city says it will replace the affected trees by replanting 72 new native trees or an equivalent, as part of the creek restoration aspect of the project.