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      Public hearing being held on DOT tree cutting plan

      SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (AP) - The public is getting a chance to comment on a plan by the state Transportation Department to remove the trees from 23 miles along the median of Interstate 26 northwest of Charleston.

      The department wants to remove the trees to improve safety along the interstate between I-95 and Summerville where 44 people were killed between 2007 and 2011. More than 700 people were hurt in almost 2,000 crashes during the same period.

      The hearing is being held late Tuesday in Summerville.

      Opponents, including U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, say the trees are part of the natural beauty of the area and help attract development.

      The DOT plan is to cut the trees and install a cable guardrail in the middle of the median for 23 miles along the interstate.

      Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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