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Residents lament loss of trees at Herndon park due to construction

A project to widen the Herndon Parkway has taken away trees — to the dismay of some community members.

Crews with heavy machinery are still surrounding Haley M. Smith Park, located at the intersection with Van Buren Street, replacing a corridor of trees once along the parkway.

“I want to cry when I drive through that intersection,” one Herndon resident wrote last week on Nextdoor. “There had to be a better way.”

Work on the year-long project began last month. It will widen travel lanes to 11 feet, install on- and off-road bicycle lanes in each direction, and make other modifications intended to improve the overall pedestrian experience in the area.

There are no plans to replant the trees at this time, Herndon spokesperson Anne Curtis said in an email.

The Nextdoor commenter wasn’t the only one dissatisfied. Several people, including children, have noticed the change.

“It’s incredibly sad to see decades old trees taken down within hours,” another person wrote.

Others countered that the project will bring upgrades.

The $5.3 million project also calls for stormwater management improvements, utility relocations, and the addition of a turning lane, part of a broader effort to transform the area for the future opening of the Herndon Metro station.

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