Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Massive live oak in way of highway improvements relocated by DOT at the urging of local citizens - New Iberia, LA

Massive live oak was moved - Times Union

NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — A massive live oak has been moved from its home of more than a century to a new site at the La. 83 exit ramp off U.S. 90 near New Iberia.

The tree was in the path of a new U.S. 90 service road, and the state Department of Transportation and Development, at the urging of local tree enthusiasts, decided to spare the oak rather than fell it.

U.S. 90 was shut down for about two hours Tuesday while crews used a special trailer to slowly haul the tree and its 42-foot diameter root ball about 1 1/2 miles, from its old home near Freyou Road to the La. 83 site.

"The tree hasn't missed a beat," said Jonathan Judice, with tree-moving specialist Environmental Design, of Houston.

DOTD is paying the company about $300,000 for transplanting the oak, which is estimated to be about 150 years old.

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