Snook Landowner: It's Too Soon to Claim Victory For Old Trees

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SNOOK, Texas A Snook land owner says she's happy, but skeptical about the Texas Department of Transportation's decision to save a group of old Live Oak trees on her land.

The trees, estimated to be 200 to 300 years old, had the misfortune of living smack in the middle of a planned section of Highway 60 that will loop around the town of Snook.

Regina McCurdy owns the land the trees sit on, and she wasn't going to let the trees go without a fight. News 3 first brought you the story in February.

"We are so appreciative of you guys, KBTX TV coming out," said McCurdy.

Since then, the story took to the internet. More than 50,000 online petition signatures later, and TxDot officials said they're ready to talk.

In a statement, officials with TxDot said "instead of building the highway with a wide, grassy median, which would have meant losing four trees, TxDot's contractor will build the part near the old trees with a narrower, paved median."

Officials said this new approach will not compromise safety, add to the cost, or delay the project.

Still, McCurdy said she's cautious about claiming victory just yet. She said when it comes to what TxDot says they can and can't do, she's been down that road before.

In a February interview with KBTX News 3, Bob Colwell with TxDot said the plans for the wider highway couldn't be changed.

"If we could save the trees, we would," Colwell said in the interview.

McCurdy said there are still plenty of meetings with TxDot officials ahead.

"We're hoping for some positive response through these future TxDot meetings," said McCurdy.

McCrudy said she hopes this situation will help bring better communication between TxDot and Land owners like her.

The $10.5 million highway project is expected to start in the Spring, and finish up in the Summer of 2016.