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UPDATE | Clear-cutting begins at Visconsi site
Clear-cutting of the forest at the future site of a shopping center next to High School Road began quickly Wednesday as a single excavator began taking down a grove of Douglas fir trees near Pollys Lane.
A single excavator equipped with a harvester head — a machine that grips the tree trunk while cutting the tree — was cutting down fir trees at the rate of roughly one per minute.
The sound of the tree cutting could be heard throughout the nearby Stonecrest neighborhood. A short burst from a saw — less than a second in length — was followed by a massive thump as each tree was cut and then plopped to the ground by the excavator.
In less than an hour, an area the size of a football field just west of Pollys Lane had been cleared of all trees.
Trees had been taken down from the access road to ProBuild all the way east to the clearing area boundary by Pollys Lane by 10 a.m. Wednesday. A small group of residents of the Stonecrest neighborhood gathered to watch the clear-cutting for a short time Wednesday morning before walking away.
Visconsi Companies, a development firm based in Ohio, is constructing a seven-building, 61,890-square-foot commercial complex on the 8.16-acre property across High School Road from McDonald's.
The new development will include a KeyBank branch, Bartell Drugs store and other businesses.