PLANS to replant trees along Empire Road between Jan Smuts and Victoria avenues are sprouting.

About 72 trees on the route were cut down in December 2010 so that Empire Road, in Parktown, could be widened to accommodate the second phase of Rea Vaya.

According to a Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) senior development manager, Vuyiswa Voyi, preparations of the landscaping concept have been made, discussed and agreed with affected residents.

“The replanting of indigenous trees is envisaged to commence in September, when the weather is warmer and there is a greater chance for the survival of new trees,” Voyi explains.

The stretch of road where the trees were cut down includes intersections with Joubert and Sam Hancock streets.

Once the Rea Vaya construction is completed, the route will be linked to the Metro Centre Rea Vaya loop, which travels to the inner city via Braamfontein. Voyi says construction on this section of the road is in progress and is expected to be finished in September.

Other works that are taking place include the resurfacing of mixed traffic lanes, street lighting, construction of a station platform, and repaving of walking areas.