You can say goodbye to Bradford Pear trees along U.S. 17 Business in Surfside Beach.
The trees, which were in the median on U.S. 17, are being removed. Several already have been trimmed down to stumps.
It’s a joint project between the town, the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study and the S.C. Department of Transportation that’s been in the works for a few years, said Mayor Doug Samples.
Around town, he said, it’s referred to as a landscaping project.
“The intention is to remove trees which are unsightly or unsafe,” Samples said. “Bradford Pears, at about 25 years of age, become very brittle in the wind so they pose a safety hazard.”
S.C. DOT is fronting the majority of the bill in an 80/20 matching grant with the town. Town Administrator Micki Fellner said the final cost to the town was $10,000, while S.C. DOT is spending $40,000.
Town Council wanted to plant palm trees in place of the Bradford Pear Trees. Engineers at S.C. DOT would not give approval for palm trees because the medians are not curbed and aren’t wide enough, Samples said. Instead there will soon be indigenous plants including crape myrtle trees.
The project runs from 17th Avenue North to Melody Lane on U.S. 17 Business.
Samples said it’s the first step in modernizing the U.S. 17 corridor in Surfside Beach.
He said Town Council hopes to hear this week whether S.C. DOT has approved another grant matching project that would allow for the repaving of U.S. 17 Business in the town limits.