Kenilworth, News

32 dead, dangerous trees removed along tracks in Kenilworth

Drivers along Green Bay Road in Kenilworth the week of March 4 may have seen some arboreal action near railroad tracks that run next to the road, as workers cleared deadwood — and some tall but very dead trees — from the grassy right of way between tracks and the street. 

Kenilworth Public Works Director Donald Leitch said on March 8 that workers pulled down 32 dead trees between Kenilworth Avenue and the Winnetka border and put the downed trees through a woodchipper. The project, which was completed during the week, was a collaboration between the village and Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the tracks, he said. 

Dead trees between the tracks and Green Bay Road are dangerous because they could potentially fall and hit those tracks, cars parked along Green Bay Road, or pedestrians, he said. 

A contractor prepares to throw a rope around a dead tree along Union Pacific tracks in Kenilworth.

“What I’m afraid of is what could happen if a wind comes through and takes down one of those dead trees,” he said. “My staff and I try to cut back some of the bushes and invasive buckthorn, but we want to get the hazardous material out of there.”

Leitch said that it’s difficult to determine where the Union Pacific-Kenilworth property line lies on the right of way, so he approached railroad officials a little over four weeks ago with a proposal to split the $26,000 cost of taking out the deadwood. He and a Union Pacific superintendent met and contracted with a tree removal service to undertake the work, he said.

Leitch said he hopes to tackle the job of removing much of the buckthorn lining Green Bay Road in the future, “but we wanted to get the hazards out of there now.”

A call to Union Pacific’s media office was not immediately returned. 

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Kathy Routliffe

Kathy Routliffe reported in Chicago's near and North Shore suburbs (including Wilmette) for more than 35 years, covering municipal and education beats. Her work, including feature writing, has won local and national awards. She is a native of Nova Scotia, Canada.

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