BY JUDY SHERIDAN
Parker County Commissioners approved a change order for the Aledo Trail couplet project last week, authorizing the removal of a $38,000 concrete block retaining wall designed to protect a huge tree in front of Aledo City Hall from the damaging effects of a change in grade.
Other changes included adding a $14,000 6-inch pipe under drain to channel seeping subsurface water at the couplet’s westbound leg — an unforseen complication — exchanging pavement markings and raising a box inlet to ease slope maintenance.
The combined change order was a cost savings for the county, subtracting $9,900 from the $3.3 million contract.
In describing the tree to commissioners, Freese & Nichols construction manager David Payne called it “a staple within the City of Aledo,” that had been determined to be “unsalvageable.”
“They’ve had several arborists come out and look at it, and they’re saying there’s no need to save it,” he said. “That’s what that block retaining wall was for, to salvage that tree.
“They’re saying we don’t need to do that now, so we’re going to pull that block retaining wall out and save them some amount of money there, and that tree’s basically going to go away ... in time. I mean, it’s not going happen overnight.”
Aledo Public Works Director Gordon Smith said he gave the directive to remove the wall and bring the soil up to the tree’s base after a discussion initiated by project managers.
“It was presented the tree has the possibility of living without the extra measures of an 850-square-foot concrete block wall designed to help mitigate effects,” he emailed.
Smith said Gay Larson, a Parker County master gardener who has worked with the city on several landscape projects, was present during the discussion.
Larson identified the 18-inch diameter tree as a cedar elm, he said, and was the city’s contact for the tree’s history and condition.
“The tree to our knowledge has been on the property prior to City Hall and no special designation has been attached,” Smith said. “It is full of mistletoe with signs of dying in a couple areas.”
Smith said the tree’s condition has remained the same during construction. He said it has been determined that cutting it back and removing the mistletoe might allow it to live longer.
When Aledo Trail was designed, Smith said, engineers were asked to protect the existing trees — many of them oaks — as much as possible.
When eight large trees had to be felled prior to construction, two 4-5-inch diameter “memorial” trees were transplanted to Community Center grounds.
The Aledo Trail Project, which has been stalled due to issues with AT&T lines, should start up again soon, Parker County Public Information Officer Joel Kertok said.
BY JUDY SHERIDAN
- Aledo ExtrA
Ride for Heroes a success
Nearly 1,200 cyclists flooded the roads around East Parker County during Saturday’s 12th annual Moritz Ride for Heroes.
Aledo ISD School Board Place 7 candidates
Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 7 Aledo ISD trustee race, Hoyt Harris, James Riley Morrison and Debra Rogers.
Aledo ISD School Board Place 6 candidates
Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is information gathered from the candidates for the Place 6 Aledo ISD trustee race, incumbent David Davis and challenger Farida Goderya.
Callaway gets A+
Anita Callaway, an English teacher at Daniel Ninth Grade Center, was named “Teacher of the Year” during the 2014 Marva Collins Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony held April 15 in the Aledo High School auditorium.
Man dies in Farmer Road crash
A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. April 15 in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.
Fire victims' fund established
Two streets down and hours after many members of the East Parker County community gathered April 5 to present a new home built with donations to the Hancock family, another family in the West Oak subdivision lost their home to a fire and is now in need of support from the community.
Delay adds $56,000 to Aledo Trail project
The long delay in the Aledo Trail downtown couplet, now due to finish in summer instead of spring, will add about $56,000 to the cost of the project, Parker County commissioners learned last week, when they approved a change order upping the contract to around $3.3 million.
Parker County Sheriff's Report March 31-April 11
Theft of property
A deputy was dispatched to 8600 Interstate 20 East, Aledo, in reference to a theft investigation. The 57-year-old male complainant said an unknown suspect stole $1,000 of copper wire from the Sprint tower on the site. A case was made for the theft of property: aluminum, bronze, copper and brass.
East Parker County Calendar of Events
Bearcats ‘N Boots Gala: dinner, auction and entertainment
• 6:30 p.m. at Cendera Center, 3600 Benbrook Highway, Fort Worth.
• Catered by The Wild Mushroom; entertainment by Four Day Weekend.
• Tickets cost $100.
• Benefitting the Aledo ISD Education Foundation
• Title sponsor Buford-Thompson Company.
• For more information, go to aledoef.org.
EXTENSION NEWS: Take a mind vacation
For many of us, every day has some sort of stress associated with it. Whether it is something at home or at work, it seems like there are a million things stressing us out and making us feel overwhelmed.
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