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Saguaros standing tall again along Phoenix-area freeway


PHOENIX — The saguaros were standing tall again Thursday along a stretch of Loop 101 in Scottsdale, after a noticeable absence.

State road crews delivered and replanted the final bunch of cactuses and other desert plants that were displaced by road-widening work on the freeway between Shea Boulevard and Loop 202.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said 400 saguaros, some of them older than the state (Arizona became the 48th state in 1912), and hundreds of other plants had been uprooted during this portion of the project.

“This restoration work is challenging but also very rewarding because many of the saguaros are more than a hundred years old and it’s great to have them in place as an iconic symbol of Arizona,” the department’s landscape construction supervisor Richard Adamson said in a release.

The trees and plants were relocated to nurseries during the road work.

The two-year-old project — cost estimated at $74 million — was expected to be completed in the fall.

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