CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- A planning committee has approved plans by the state transportation department to cut most of the trees in the median of Interstate 26 from I-95 to Summerville.
A committee of the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments voted 4-2 this week to recommend approval of the $5 million project, The Post and Courier of Charleston (http://bit.ly/1guIhuD ) reported.
Officials hope the removal of the trees will reduce the number of car-tree collisions on the highway.
The plan would cut down trees along 23 miles of the 30-mile stretch of highway. Cable guardrail will be placed in the middle of the median.
Traffic engineering director Tony Sheppard says guardrails will be placed on both sides of the median where trees remain in wetlands areas.
A public hearing will be conducted next month. The full council of governments board must consider the proposal. If the panel approves, the transportation department could proceed with plans.
State Rep. Edward Southard, R-Moncks Corner, voted against the proposal to remove most of the trees. He said the problem with traffic deaths on the road are related to speeding, drinking and texting.
"I think it's a knee-jerk reaction," Southard said. "I haven't seen yet where a tree jumped out of the median and hit somebody."
Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com