People worry about the Harrisburg riverfront landscape as crews cut down dozens of trees

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Update: The trees removed Friday along Front Street in Harrisburg posed a safety hazard, according to Jess Long Baker, PPL Electric Utilities regional affairs director.

"On Friday, PPL and our contractors worked with the City to take down what were previously assessed to be the 7 or 8 trees that needed to be removed first, for future public safety," Baker said in an email. "In other words, upcoming storms and winds could cause these trees to fall or drop branches – posing a safety risk to all people walking, biking or running in the area."

PPL Electric Utilities’ employees and tree trimming contractors Penn Line and Asplundh removed the trees, Baker added. Friday's work was part of the United Way of the Capital Region’s Day of Caring.

Tree removal also occurred along the Capital Area Greenbelt: behind Derry Street and at Five Senses Garden.

Previously: Crews spent the day out in Harrisburg, cutting down trees along Front Street. Some people who walk along the riverfront aren't too thrilled with the changing landscape.

"The number of them is crazy," said Shayanna Knaub, of Harrisburg. "It's like every other tree is marked."

Tree after tree, dozens are marked to be cut down along Front Street. We reached out to city officials to find out why these trees are being cut down, and how much this is costing the city, but they have not answered our questions. Now people living in Harrisburg are left wondering how this project will change the future landscape of the riverfront.

"I love walking along here. I really hope that they keep it green and beautiful," said Knaub. "It's a beautiful walk and I've always noticed people walking, biking, doing all kinds of things that if we take away from that, it's going to be sad to lose so many trees."

"I'd hate to see it like the rest of the city, with no trees and very little of them," said William Flemister, or Harrisburg. "If anything the city needs to work on the weeds that are flooding up the stair area."

Those who spend a lot of time on the riverfront hope the city will replace the trees being cut down with new ones.

"There's so many beautiful old trees along here, it would be nice to have younger trees to cycle through and provide future for if some of the bigger ones do decide to go," said Knaub. "You know to maintain some kind of life along the river here."

However, not everyone is sad to see the trees go.

"There's just no need to be there if it's not providing shade and leaves and stuff," said Shakeia Thomas, or Harrisburg. "Why not get rid of it?"

When we do get answers from the city on this project, we will bring you that information.

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