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DOT tree trimming near Beaufort, Port Royal roads underway

More trimming is in store for trees in Beaufort and Port Royal, as the S.C. Department of Transportation is taking saws to branches that hang over streets.

Some trimming began last week on Hermitage Road and streets near Beaufort Elementary School, according to Wendell Mulligan, resident maintenance engineer for the S.C. Department of Transportation.

Heavier cuts will be along Ribaut Road, between Lenora Drive and Allison Road. That work began Monday morning and will take all week, Mulligan said. Additional trimming on side roads throughout the town and city will continue throughout the month.

"Unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil that we have to do to keep people safe," Mulligan said.

DOT is working with the town and city on the cutting, he said. DOT will make the first cuts to provide 18-foot clearance over roads, and crews with the town and city will follow along and clean up those cuts so they are less harmful to the trees.

Mulligan said he would like DOT to be able to do that work on its own, but "but we are having to operate with the budget and the manpower we have available."

The state owns 530 miles of road in Beaufort County, and the local DOT office usually trims trees every five or six years. The cuts on Ribaut are being made ahead of that usual schedule because of complaints about low-hanging limbs, especially near Lenora Drive in Port Royal.

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