Some property owners along Van Bussum Road in Three Lakes are against proposed tree cutting for roadwork and have posted signs and a petition between two large pine trees marked for cutting starting July 27. —STAFF PHOTOS
Some property owners along Van Bussum Road in Three Lakes are against proposed tree cutting for roadwork and have posted signs and a petition between two large pine trees marked for cutting starting July 27. —STAFF PHOTOS
A roadwork project is scheduled to begin on Van Bussum Road in Three Lakes July 27 that includes the removal of approximately 200 majestic trees and the laying of new asphalt. 

Despite the town’s proposal to improve the road, some Van Bussum Road property owners are upset about proposed tree cutting  as part of the project and are starting a petition and writing letters in an effort to stop the plan.

The goal of the project, according to Town Chairman Jeff Bruss, is to prepare the road for new asphalt.

“It is a standard procedure at the town of Three Lakes to remove trees that are within 5 feet of the roadway prior to laying new blacktop,” said Bruss.

But one Van Bussum property owner expressed, “I walk this road around three times a day if not more, and it is, I feel, one of the most beautiful roads in the town. 

“It has a large canopy which is enjoyed by many walkers, children and bicyclists,” he said.

This roadwork project is also leaving some property  owners with concerns about safety. 

“With the widening of the shoulder, I’m concerned that cars will go faster  and could harm little kids,” one property owner shared.

Bruss said that the trees are to be removed for the betterment of the road.

“This is done for several reasons including protecting the investment of the roadway from roots and allowing the roadway to properly dry and get sunlight, allowing adequate room for winter snow removal and emergency vehicles, and recognizing that trees, over time, grow in circumference and eventually will encroach (on) the roadway once again,” said Bruss. 

Another property owner  expressed concern about the potential of collateral damage from tree cutting, such as structural damage, damage to power lines, and trees falling onto and tearing up other trees. 

“I’m also worried that a fully loaded logging trailer will tear up the road due to its heavy weight,” the property owner shared. 

“Van Bussum Road was already damaged last year by heavy construction trucks while it was closed for a Burnt Rollways (boat hoist) and dam project on (Highway) X.”

“The road is not in disrepair and I feel in this current economy that there are far better ways to spend money than on a road where the actual residents don’t want this work done,” a resident concluded. 

The estimated cost of the road project is $200,000.

With several trees already being marked to be cut down July 27, Van Bussum Road property owners said they hope their pleas will be heard by town leaders. 

To learn more about the project, contact town officials at (715) 546-3316 or townclerksue@townofthreelakes.com.