Compromise Reached on Tree-Cutting on I-26 Stretch

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By Alicia Barnes

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ There's been a compromise on the heated issue of cutting trees in the median of Interstate 26 northwest of Charleston.

The state Transportation Department wanted to cut trees along 23 miles of the highway between Summerville and Interstate 95. Forty-four people were killed on that stretch between 2007 and 2011.

The Berkeley-Dorchester-Charleston Council of Governments on Monday compromised and will allow trees along 7 miles of the most deadly stretch of highway removed. Cable barriers will be put in the median in other areas.

A provision in this year's state budget prevented the Transportation Department from cutting the trees without the Council of Government's approval.

Rep. Mark Sanford applauded the compromise, saying leaving most of the trees maintains the beauty of the highway serving as Charleston's front door.

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