Trees in deadliest areas of I-26 to be cut down - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Trees in deadliest areas of I-26 to be cut down

Posted: Updated:
SUMMERVILLE, SC - In a meeting Monday morning with Berkeley, Dorchester, Charleston Counties of Government a narrow decision was made to adapt a plan by the Department of Transportation that would eliminate some trees along Interstate 26.


The median of Interstate 26 from exit 199 in Summerville to exit 169 near Interstate 95 currently has countless pine trees and is blamed for 44 fatalities during a study from 2007-2011. The SCDOT began discussing possibly removing the trees after data showed that the stretch of road is one of the deadliest in the state.

The plan, which passed 14 to 13 votes, means 17 miles of trees will stay and about seven miles of trees get the ax in hopes of saving lives.

According to a presentation by the Department of Transportation, the number of crashes along the corridor is nearly eight times the state average. The number of fatalities is nearly 20% higher than average. The most common cause of those accidents is driving too fast for conditions.

"People are doing those things all over America on interstates but what's happening is people losing their lives at high rates here on I-26 coming into Charleston and exiting Charleston," Greg Elmore said. Elmore's son lost his life years ago near mm 183.

Some, however, disagree with getting rid of them.

"These trees help connect this entire area, but also it's important aesthetically," Natalie Olson said. "It's a very iconic gateway into the Lowcountry."

Olson works with the Coastal Conservation League, one of the main agencies wanting  the Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments (BCD COD) to vote to keep the trees in place and adding cables to protect drivers from crashing.

The plan the state agency recommends is cutting down 17 miles of trees in the median and placing cables along the remaining seven miles. That plan costs around $5.3 million.


"To save lives, expense should not be a consideration, and removing all of the trees isn't going to fix the problem," she said. "The problem is the steep slope [along the side of the road], so even if the trees are going to be removed, accidents are still going to happen."

  • Cher coming to North Charleston; tickets go on sale Friday, September 5

    Cher coming to North Charleston; tickets go on sale Friday, September 5

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:20 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:20:39 GMT
    Courtesy: North Charleston ColiseumCourtesy: North Charleston Coliseum
    Cher is adding shows to her "D2K Tour 2014" including one in North Charleston on November 19 with tickets going on sale Friday, September 5.
    Cher is adding shows to her "D2K Tour 2014" including one in North Charleston on November 19 with tickets going on sale Friday, September 5.
  • Body found in Awendaw with apparent gunshot wound

    Body found in Awendaw with apparent gunshot wound

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:42 AM EDT2014-09-02 09:42:52 GMT
    The Charleston County Sheriff's and Coroner's offices are investigating an apparent homicide in Awendaw.
    The Charleston County Sheriff's and Coroner's offices are investigating an apparent homicide in Awendaw.
  • First ever "Watersports Week" coincides with "Restaurant Week" in Charleston

    First ever "Watersports Week" coincides with "Restaurant Week" in Charleston

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:31:34 GMT
    A historically slow week for tourism begins today, and in an effort to turn things around, people in the city of Charleston are working to keep the spirit of summer spending alive.Whether it's dining out with family or taking a boat ride with friends, summer or not, in Charleston, it's hard to be bored. But as summer ends and many tourists leave, business unfortunately slows down.In an effort to combine some of Charleston's greatest assets and keep money coming in, this week after Labor Day k...
    A historically slow week for tourism begins today, and in an effort to turn things around, people in the city of Charleston are working to keep the spirit of summer spending alive.Whether it's dining out with family or taking a boat ride with friends, summer or not, in Charleston, it's hard to be bored. But as summer ends and many tourists leave, business unfortunately slows down.In an effort to combine some of Charleston's greatest assets and keep money coming in, this week after Labor Day k...
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.