Capital Tree Service fell a set of Garry oaks along Finnerty Road on Tuesday as Saanich begins work to upgrade Finnerty with bike lanes and sidewalks. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Garry oaks come down on Finnerty Road

Saanich road to be widened for two-way bike lanes, sidewalks

Saanich took a first step on the new Finnerty Road upgrade project on Tuesday as crews began the process of removing six Garry oaks.

There was a pushback from a small group to save the oaks, with a 90-person petition presented by locals Harriet and Gerald Graham.

“Five mature, healthy Garry oaks and one wildlife Garry oak, to be precise, [were removed] over the objections of the Cadboro Bay Residents Association board as well as 90 local residents who signed a petition asking Saanich mayor and council to intervene, to no avail, unfortunately,” said Gerald Graham

Several residents were seen approaching the workers from Capital Tree Service on Tuesday who were contracted to fall the trees, and at least one resident was irate.

READ MORE: Saanich residents want municipality to show creativity in saving trees

The project will infill new concrete sidewalks, connecting them between the roundabout at McKenzie Avenue and Arbutus Road and install a two-way cycle track along Finnerty. It will also replace and upgrade 510 metres of aging water mains to improve fire flows and upgrade to LED streetlights.

The cost of the project is about $1 million. In total, it will add 300 metres of separated two-way cycle track, 200m of multi-use pathway and 350m of concrete sidewalk.

READ ALSO: Saanich hopes province will pony up for new cycling track

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