Curious About Replacing The Trees Along Rte. 128 Construction Zone

WALTHAM (CBS) – If you drive along Route 128, it’s hard to miss the spot in Waltham that has been bulldozed into a mess of mulch.

One side of the Cambridge Reservoir in Waltham offers a blissful view. The other side, however, leaves a lot to be desired.

Carol in Waltham Declared her Curiosity, asking:

“Why have they removed all the trees from the side of Route 128 in Waltham. It made me sick to my stomach! There were many mature and very healthy trees!”

WBZ-TV’s David Wade looked into it and found it has to do with a city many miles away:

The state chopped them down as part of a $25 million dollar DOT project.

The state is repaving a four-mile stretch from Lexington down to Weston.

But what does that have to do with the trees? The answer begins in the city of Cambridge.

Some of the city’s drinking water comes from the reservoir along the highway.

When the state was getting a permit to improve the highway, Cambridge got the state to agree to also put in new catch basins and huge underground drainage pipes. All these new pipes will go in where the trees were. They’ll feed mini detention ponds.

Where water from the road sometimes filled with salt and sand will be cleaned and then dumped back into the reservoir.

A MassDOT spokesman says, “The removal of the trees was an unfortunate but necessary impact to the highway system… as part of this contract, planting will be added.”

A Cambridge official said people shouldn’t worry and that new landscaping will eventually make it the area look even better than before.

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