Trees to be removed from Charleston airport property

By Lauren Ratcliffe
lratcliffe@scbiznews.com
Published Nov. 27, 2012

Beginning Dec. 3, 140 acres of trees near Joint Base Charleston and Charleston International Airport will be removed to improve flight safety.

The tree clearing comes after a 2011 study commissioned by the United States Air Force that determined some trees near the runway presented a flight safety hazard because of their height.

Second Lt. Leah F. Davis, an Air Force spokeswoman, said Joint Base Charleston, in conjunction with the Charleston County Aviation Authority, is funding the project through fiscal year 2012 Air Force sustainment funds.

Walterboro-based White Wood Inc. was awarded a $231,000 contract to remove the trees, which are located near the intersection of Dorchester Road and Michaux Parkway.

No new pavement or roadway is needed for the project and temporary increases in noise and traffic are expected while the logging and clearing activities take place. The entire project is expected to take about three years.

Air Force height restrictions create imaginary surfaces extending from the runway that dictate which trees will be removed, Davis said.

The trees to be removed include loblolly pine, but the majority of the area is made of mixed hardwoods including oaks, black gum and sweet gum. The value of the trees will be paid back to the U.S. Treasury or the Charleston County Aviation Authority, depending on who owned the land it was removed from.

The breakdown of what entity owns what percentage of the property was not immediately available.

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