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Michigan officials cutting down trees because of car crashes

February 18, 2018

Tree trunks and branches hang above Mast Road just outside of Dexter, Mich., on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. Some of the trees have ben marked for removal with pink spray paint. (Jack Zellweger/The Ann Arbor News via AP)

DEXTER, Mich. (AP) — Officials with a southeastern Michigan city plan to cut down more than 100 trees along a stretch of road because drivers keep veering off the road and hitting them.

The Washtenaw County Road Commission told The Ann Arbor News there’s been at least six vehicle crashes along Mast Road north of Dexter since 2012. Crash statistics aren’t yet available for 2017.

“Of those six, one was a fatality when a car struck a tree and one was a type-B injury, meaning the person suffered severe injuries and was hospitalized,” said Emily Kizer, a commission spokeswoman.

The trees are too close to the road and pose a safety hazard, commission officials said. Trees within 10 feet of the roadway will be removed.

The commission plans to use federal safety grant funds for the project.

“We have a responsibility to maintain the public road right-of-way and keep it as safe as possible for the traveling public,” Kizer said. “This grant is an opportunity for us to improve safety along a road that sees approximately 3,400 vehicles per day.”

The trees are expected to be removed by March 31.

The commission will also be installing guardrails in certain portions of the road to prevent cars from going over a steep slope or over a bridge.

Some area residents are concerned about losing such historic trees. Some of the trees may date back to before Michigan was officially made a state, said Webster Township resident Carl Schneider.

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Information from: The Ann Arbor News, http://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor

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