The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

March 15, 2013

ALDOT to cut trees on U.S. 31, trim trees at Welcome Center

By Jean Cole
jean@athensnews-courier.com

— Dozens of tall pines gracing the wide green median on U.S. 31 south of Tanner will soon be removed along with a stand of trees threatening the road.

Safety issues prompted the removal, which should be completed before the end of summer.

The project also includes trimming trees at the Welcome Center at the Alabama-Tennessee state line to allow grass to grow.

“We love trees and we want to have an environment that is aesthetically pleasing, but we do not want tree growth to become a safety issue,” said Hiram Garner, field operations manager for ALDOT Division 2, which includes Limestone, Morgan, Lawrence, Colbert, Lauderdale, Franklin, Winston and Marion counties. “If they were smaller trees with a smaller diameter that would break once struck they could remain, otherwise it would be like hitting a blunt object,” Garner said. “This is a state liability.”