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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v14n04)
Levee project tree clearing mtg at Library
by Alan Hague
posted: Feb. 17, 2017

An open house was held at the Glendale branch of the Indianapolis Public Library on February 6. Representatives were on hand from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) to answer questions about the upcoming tree clearing along the White River levee on the north side of Indianapolis. The ACE conducted a survey of the entire levee for the White River that starts on the north end in Broad Ripple and goes south along the river. Hundreds of detailed cross-sections were drawn showing every tree and its relationship to the levee wall. From these cross-sections it was determined which vegetation could remain and which would be removed. As shown in the above right photo, the cross-sections show the height of the dirt around the levee wall. Based on ACE standards, a dotted line (enhanced with green) shows the minimum area that cannot contain any plant growths. If a tree had a root ball in the critical area and the tree fell over in a storm, the root ball would rip from the levee allowing for further erosion and possible breach. Anything putting roots in to the designated areas is slated for removal. Many trees though have their entire root ball (highlighted in red) above that minimum safe line and can therefore remain on the river bank.

One of the hundreds of cross-sections of the canal. Enhanced with colors for clarity. When the root ball of a tree (red) on the levee is above the "no root" zone (green), that tree is allowed to remain (as in this example cross-section).
One of the hundreds of cross-sections of the canal. Enhanced with colors for clarity. When the root ball of a tree (red) on the levee is above the
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Jacob Sinkhorn, project engineer from the Corps, said that the clearing will happen this Spring.

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Jacob Sinkhorn of Army Corps of Engineers
Jacob Sinkhorn of Army Corps of Engineers
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Mike Massonne, levee project manager for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, describes the tree clearing process.
Mike Massonne, levee project manager for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, describes the tree clearing process.
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alan@broadripplegazette.com
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