Ewingsdale Road traffic is banked up as far as the Cavanbah Sports and Cultural Centre as Byron Shire Council workers bring down two massive old Norfolk Pines trees on Shirley Street, Byron Bay.
According to Byron Shire Council, the works commenced at 7am and will continue through to 5pm today.
Echonetdaily reader Chris Bird described the situation as of 10am as ‘gridlock’.
Infrastructure services director, Phil Holloway said the despite working with a number of independent arborists, the two trees cannot be saved and need to be removed for safety reasons.
Dead branches on a number of other trees are also being pruned.
To minimise impacts on traffic and to allow safe removal of dead wood, Council is requesting that cars are not parked on the road verge between Milton St and Dryden St, both sides of the road.
Mr Holloway said that the Norfolk Pine trees have not recovered from the severe hailstorms that hit Byron Bay at the end of 2013.
‘Despite treatment and additional care programs, we had to remove five trees at the end of 2014 and we’ve now lost another two.
‘Staff will continue to monitor and care for the remaining trees, but it could be that the trees are nearing the end of their lifespan and will need to be replaced over the coming years.
‘Once the trees have been removed, replacement juvenile Norfolk Pines will be planted to maintain the avenue effect,’ he said.
A council spokesperson said vehicle access to homes and businesses may be affected in the short term, however an on-site traffic controller will be on hand to assist.