Saying they could soon become a threat to public safety, the California Department of Transportation has ordered Oxnard to remove the 48 remaining eucalyptus trees along the Ventura Freeway near the Rose Avenue offramp.
Oxnard officials had argued in favor of preserving the trees, once part of a larger agricultural windbreak, during the original design of a new Rose Avenue freeway offramp and bridge.
But Caltrans field officials noticed that a new drainage channel at the foot of the trees would undermine their root systems, making them unstable and possibly unsafe to motorists, according to a city news release.
Both parties have agreed that the trees need to be removed, the release said. The tree removal will begin Tuesday and is expected to cost $143,550. Caltrans will pay 77%.
The Rose Avenue construction project, which began in September, is scheduled to take 18 months.