Environmentalists want to nix I-26 tree cutting

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The Coastal Conservation League wants Gov. Nikki Haley to block the cutting of trees in the median on Interstate 26 between I-95 and Summerville.

The transportation department plans to cut the trees to reduce the number of deaths and severe injuries in crashes on that stretch of the highway.

The $5 million project is part of a plan to widen I-26 to three lanes. Cable guardrails would be installed in the middle of the median after the trees are removed.

Dana Beach with the Coastal Conservation League says the transportation department does not have to cut all the trees to improve safety.

Gubernatorial spokesman Rob Godfrey says the department considered options to preserve the trees but improving safety is more important.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.