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State redesigns road to save ancient oak trees

Published On: Mar 07 2014 01:01:29 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 07 2014 02:03:04 PM CST

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -

State transportation officials say a highway bypass in Central Texas will be rerouted to save a stand of ancient oaks that were under threat of being cut down.

The stand south of College Station includes a 500-year-old oak considered one of the oldest trees in Texas. Plans did not call for that oak to be razed but there were concerns the development would harm it.

The Texas Department of Transportation on Thursday decided to redesign the road.

A longstanding dispute had pitted the family that owns the land against TxDOT. The solution appears to hinge on using a narrower highway median to allow the bypass to be built around the oaks. New rural highways typically are designed with wide, grassy medians for safety and drainage.