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SIDEWALK REPAIRS STUN WOODWARD AVE.

Residents of a shady street in Buffalo's Parkside district are fuming after a blitz on tree-damaged sidewalks Wednesday by a contractor hired by the city.

"We had absolutely no notification of anything happening," said Vitauts Alks of 73 Woodward Ave. "My wife came home at 4 p.m., went into the house and an hour later came out to see the end of a high-lift tearing up the sidewalk and a substantial number of tree roots.

"Roots the size of my arm were torn up and pulled out," he added, "and parts of our lawn have been damaged. It looks like a war zone. They also broke a piece of the access sidewalk to our house."

Residents found themselves blocked from entering or leaving their driveways. One woman, unaware of the sidewalk repairs, rolled into her driveway over a patch of fresh concrete.

On the opposite side of the street at 160 Woodward, Richard Heller anxiously watched the work as it approached his front yard.

He expressed concern over the effect on the health of the street's linden trees.

"We appreciate the new sidewalks," he said, "but what happens if the trees die?"

Delaware Council Member Alfred T. Coppola agreed that residents should have been notified when the work was about to begin.

As for the damage to lawns, Coppola said that would be corrected after the new sidewalks are installed.

"The lawns always get messed up," he noted. "They have another contractor who goes later and fixes up the lawns."

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