The Cook Islands Investment Corporation would like to inform the public that in the interests of safety it has become necessary to remove a number of trees from the Avarua township median strip.
These removals will take place over the coming week with work occurring outside of peak traffic hours in the early morning or late evening. Minimal disruption is expected.
“In total there are four trees requiring removal – a kauariki (tropical almond) tree and three toa (ironwood) trees. All four of these trees were planted after the Ara Maire Nui was formed in the early 1990s” said CIIC chief executive Allan Jensen.
The first tree planned for removal is one of a close-standing group of trees located on the grass verge near where the eastbound lane of Te Ara Maire Nui meets back up with the westbound lane across from the ANZ bank. Only the tree leaning towards the road will be removed.
This area was the site of a fatal accident some years ago and there have been several reports of near misses, including one case in which an eastbound vehicle’s side mirror was damaged after it was forced to swerve towards the edge of the road and made contact with the tree.
The second and third trees to be removed are located on the other side of the eastbound lane from the first tree, within the triangular grass verge opposite the ANZ bank. Both trees are leaning outwards towards the road and are in danger of falling at some point in the future.
The fourth tree, the kauariki, obstructs drivers’ views of the road at the eastbound intersection across from the Energy Centre. In addition to the traffic hazard this causes, the tree’s shallow root system is above ground in places and there are signs of roots beginning to lift the road and parking asphalt.
“In time, and once suitable public land has been identified, CIIC intends to plant more trees that will provide shade and enjoyment for the public in years to come” Mr Jensen added.
The Cook Islands Investment Corporation would like to thank the public in advance for their cooperation and caution while the necessary removal of these trees is carried out.
All care will be taken to ensure this work is completed safely and with a minimum of disruption to traffic and pedestrians.