New Broad Street trees replace casualties of February's ice storm



Broad Street tree casualties of February’s ice storm have been replaced by new Chinese elms using special purpose local option sales tax revenue.

Augusta’s Downtown Development Authority authorized spending $4,000 in March to replace eight trees between the 800 and 1200 blocks of Broad Street, said the authority’s director, Margaret Woodard.

“We lost the trees, and we saw the heavy damage to the sidewalks,” Woodard said. “There were a couple of blocks that were hit really bad.”

The devastating ice storm that shut down Augusta for several days toppled large trees and ripped up Broad Street sidewalks, which have since been fixed. Stumps from the old trees were ground before planting new ones.

The Downtown Development Authority asked nonprofit city beautification group Trees for Augusta to plant the new trees, measuring 15 to 20 feet tall.

“They match trees that were planted downtown in the 1980s,” said the group’s chairman, Bryan Haltermann.

Haltermann’s group, which was formed by volunteers in 2009 and depends on private donations to plant trees across Augusta, recently planted six willow oaks on Greene Street near the old Augusta public library, which is being converted to offices for the city’s utilities department.