MIAMI -

Landscaping crews began cutting down dozens of trees along Brickell Avenue on Thursday despite some upset residents.

The city of Miami went forward with a $1.5 million beautification and sidewalk expansion project and began cutting down the 75 trees on an 11-block stretch south of Southeast 15th Street.

The trees being removed are in poor health or too close to one another, said city officials. Some, like the Gumbo-Limbos, are hollowed out, meaning they can break easily.

"Ever since Hurricane Andrew, they adopted stronger statutes for trees," said arborist Thomas Jarvis. "They have to be a certain height, certain diameter trunks and canopy. It allows the trees to gain energy and grow stronger."

But those who live nearby weren't thrilled with the landscaping changes. They said public notices went up without their input.

"Nobody consulted the taxpayers who's paying for it, only the people who sit on the commissioners boards and the people who go down there to push for this kind of stupidity, which is putting up palm trees," said Victor Farvet.

The city will replace the 75 trees and plant 150 more.

"It's going to be empty for a while and it's very sunny, it's hot. We're going to miss those trees. They're beautiful," said Paola Serna.

The project is expected to be finished by Thanksgiving.