The Garden of Surging Waves project in Astoria has come to a halt, as engineers figure out what to do about planting trees on hollow ground.

It appears the large trees planned along Duane Street can only be planted after extremely expensive measures are taken, because there is no dirt below the sidewalk – something made clear when the former Safeway block collapsed in late 2010.

Mayor Willis Van Dusen said today the city engaged in some “value engineering” after the project was shut down last week, as changes to the plans were made.

Those changes include eliminating some of the landscaping, specifically the large trees. The project is expected to continue on Thursday.

“Work has been delayed at the Garden of Surging Waves. I don’t look at it as a problem. We do not have enough money to finish the entire garden with the funds we currently have available, so value engineering will save us money so we can complete as much of the garden as we can,” Van Dusen said.

Van Dusen said he believes the lack of large trees along Duane Street will not detract from the project.