January 13, 2018 8:49 pm

‘It’s very traumatizing,’ says Surrey resident as city cuts last trees for Hawthorne Park road

Janet Brown/Global News

An area equal to about four city blocks has been cleared of trees over the last few days at Hawthorne Park to make way for a new road that will link Guildford and Surrey Central.

“It’s a clearcut right through the forest there and there’s nothing left, not even the small bushes. A monster machine is out there now just picking things up,” said Steve Pettigrew, one of the main opponents of the road.

Work at the park began on Jan. 9, after city council voted in favour of the controversial road.

“So many people consider this park as a part of their family, they’ve grown up there, people have been buried in there, there have been weddings here. It’s just a real connected part of our lives,” said Pettigrew.

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READ MORE: Protesters chaining themselves to trees as crews try to clear Surrey’s Hawthorne Park

Last week protesters blocked equipment and chained themselves to trees to halt construction, but crews were back in the next day.

According to the city, about 200 trees were going to be cut to make way for the new road, although opponents argued the number was closer to 2,000.

WATCH: Surrey residents rally against proposed road through Hawthorne Park

The city said the three-kilometre road will help ease congestion on 104 Avenue once the new light rail transit (LRT) project gets underway.

“I just have to accept that the road is, or the trees are coming down because up until now I fully haven’t believed it,” Pettigrew said. “And now that I’m looking out there, there are only a couple of trees left, it’s very traumatizing.”

READ MORE: Work crews back on the job in Surrey’s Hawthorne Park

The new road will also cut through a school’s playground that will have to be relocated. A few acres of green space will also be added along with new trees.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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