Lawmaker proposes resolution on I-26 trees

File Photo (WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - A state senator wants lawmakers to review Transportation Department plans to remove trees in the median of 30 miles of Interstate 26.

Berkeley Sen. Larry Grooms filed a joint resolution Tuesday that says the DOT can't cut any trees or proceed with the project until they report to the Transportation Review Committee for which Grooms is the Chairman.

The Transportation Department wants to remove the trees and install a guardrail down the median to make the heavily traveled stretch between Interstate 95 and Summerville safer.

The South Carolina Coastal Conservation League last week asked Gov. Nikki Haley to prevent the agency from cutting the trees.

According to Grooms, the goal of the resolution is to slow down the project, allow for more public input and make the decision-making process more transparent.

Grooms said he wants to hear from the DOT why they want to cut the trees and inform the committee of alternative options.

Haley's office says the agency thoroughly weighed the safety and environmental issues and making the road safer is the highest priority.

Grooms told ABC News 4 he believes that if highway safety is the number one goal, there is another way to accomplish that goal without removing the trees.