The RMS is in the process of beginning works to upgrade March Street in Richmond, largely between the intersection of Bosworth Street (KFC Corner) and Chapel Street.
These works will widen the road and involve underground service relocation and unfortunately the loss of many established Crepe Myrtle trees lining March Street. The commencement of works has caused some understandable concern in the community.
The proposed scope of the works is evident from a 2016 RMS Review of Environmental Factors Report:
I share your concerns about the loss of these lovely, established flowering trees, and a related concern about the project threatening a large Plane tree at the intersection of March St and Chapel St which forms part of a significant avenue of heritage trees along Chapel Street (where I used to live). It’s a beautiful part of Richmond and the Crepe Myrtles are absolutely stunning when they are in bloom.
It bears remembering that this is an RMS project, not a Hawkesbury Council project. RMS (at best) only liaise with Council about the potential impacts, especially at the interface between State roads and Local roads.
Also, these upgrades are part of a series of upgrades between North Richmond and Richmond that will ease long-standing traffic flow issues until a more permanent fix in the form of a new crossing of the Hawkesbury River is built.
So here’s what we know about what can be done. The 2016 RMS report acknowledges the significance of these trees and they undertake to replace them “where appropriate” after the road is widened and the footpath replaced:
In terms of the Plane tree on the corner of Chapel St, Council and RMS representatives held a site visit recently to discuss alternative options to save the tree.
I’ve made it clear that these trees have value to the community and amenity of Richmond, and that they need to be replaced with mature specimens, not seedlings, if at all possible. Our Council staff will continue to press that point to the project managers, RMS / TfNSW.
If you care for these trees, I would encourage you to make your concerns known by contacting the RMS’s project contact managers, DownerMouchel on:
Phone: 1800 332 660, or