Zernikelaan renovation kicks off: 92 trees cut down
The city of Groningen, the UG, and the Hanze university are collaborating on the renovation of the area. They want to improve safety at the Zernikelaan by separating the road from the bicycle paths and sidewalks.
The area around the Duijsenberg pond will also get a facelift. The currently inaccessible roads and pathways are slated to be transformed into a ‘pleasant area’ with a sloping, green bank, a wooden plank bridge across the length of the pond and on the north side, a wide set of stairs that go down to the water.
If everything goes according to plan, the renovation should be done by the end of 2020.
While the work started on Monday, people still objected the plans. Especially the 92 trees being cut down caused quite a commotion for a while.
A group of lecturers from the UG and the Hanze came up with an alternative plan for the Zernikelaan redesign, which would spare the trees. But the city, UG, and Hanze said this plan could not be executed.
The Bomenridders Groningen Foundation said cutting down the trees was unnecessary and went to court in an effort to stop the plans. While a judge ordered a halt to the cutting halfway during February, the foundation’s objections were dismissed last week. They have submitted another objection to the city.
In an effort to get it done before nesting season, the city started cutting down trees and making other preparations on Monday. The city says the campus will end up greener than it currently is, since they’ll be planting one and a half trees for every tree they cut down.
The city says the main work at the campus will be done by the end of 2020. In April, they’ll begin laying the foundation for the plank bridge across the Duijsenberg pond, which could cause some vibrations in the area. If everything goes according to plan, this work will take six weeks.