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Tree trimming could impact traffic in Indiana Township, Fox Chapel

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Motorists traveling on local roads through Fox Chapel and Indiana Township could be affected by brief traffic restrictions while an extensive tree-trimming project winds down.

Asplundh Tree Experts is plodding along roads throughout the Lower Valley to prune branches that could interfere with utilities.

The work was contracted through Duquesne Light.

Lines are being targeted from Guys Run Road south to Powers Run, progressing west. Crews will work north toward Indiana Township.

The pruning is being done on an as-needed basis along 120 miles of distribution circuits.

“It's an effort to keep our reliability numbers high,” said Joe Vallarian, spokesperson for the power company.

Trees and tree limbs are the largest causes of power outage to most all electric companies, Vallarian said.

“Preventative maintenance helps lessen these outages for customers.”

Residents have been notified of the potential work, which is expected to last through September.

“It's hard to say an exact date since it's weather dependent, but we've got good weather right now,” Vallarian said. “It also depends on what they find.”

There have been no issues so far, he said.

“Basically, they're looking to clear anything that's within the right of way of our utility lines,” he said.

They will be on the lookout for smaller, fast-growing trees that have the potential to interfere.

Herbicide will be used in them.

Cutting crews reviewed policies with the borough's environmental advisory council. Vallarian said they follow practices approved by the International Society of Arboriculture.

There have been no concerns expressed by residents that he's aware of.

If motorists are subject to limited traffic patterns, the roads will be posted.

“If we have to close a road, it wouldn't be for very long,” he said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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