Washtenaw County cutting down trees due to traffic crashes

DEXTER, Mich. (AP) — Officials with a southeastern Michigan community 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 have 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 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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  • rory

    Lapeer County did the same thing back around 2002 or thereabouts. An elderly woman was killed when she left the roadway and hit a tree that was growing close to the dirt road. Her family won a lawsuit that forced the county to cut back all the trees from both sides of the roadway on ALL county unimproved, back dirt roads by 50 feet! They just left all the wood lying there for anyone to come and take, free of charge. Man, did we clean up. We had firewood for years after that. Although the major portion of it was elm.