CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – Crews are removing large trees from along Interstate 95 starting in Camden County to help make the roads safer.
Currently, there are two tree removal projects going on in Camden County. Two more are expected to start sometime soon, and those will continue into Glynn County.
Georgia DOT says research has shown that this will make a difference and improve the safety on I-95.
The Department of Transportation projects are beginning at the Florida/Georgia state line and will continue heading farther north into the state.
The state says when it gets right down to it, trees on the side of the interstate do pose a risk. They say 51% of fatalities in Georgia involve single vehicle crashes.
In many of these cases, they say the driver runs off the road and hits something like a tree.
If a driver does go off the road, DOT says having fewer trees will make it easier to stop or get back on the road. When drivers are moving to enter the interchange, officials say it'll be easier to spot oncoming traffic.
There's more to this than just safety. Georgia DOT is also calling this a proactive move ahead of hurricane season.
The agency says after Hurricane Matthew, more than 230 trees had to be removed after they fell onto the interstate during the storm and closed off entrance points to Southeast Georgia areas.
DOT says with the removal, it is taking environmental concerns into consideration. Once the trees are removed, there will be no digging. They say this will make it easier for grass to be planted in its place.
Removing the trees is phase 1 of the projects, according to Georgia DOT. Phase 2 will be focused on what's left behind. The goal is to plant more grass, perhaps add wildflowers, put something in its place which will not only be safe to grow, but will also look nice.