TOLL 49 EXPANSION: New Chapel Hill residents oppose blue and orange routes

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NEW CHAPEL HILL, Texas (KETK)- Talks about the proposed Toll 49 routes continue, as the deadline quickly approaches for the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority to narrow down route options.

While many have spoken against the expansion, residents in New Chapel Hill want to make sure their voices are heard when it comes to this project.

Driving through New Chapel Hill, you may see a couple of signs against the blue and orange routes in front of homes.

“We built the home ourselves, three generations of our family live in the path on this property so that was, of course, my initial concern,” says Angela Singer.

Singer’s husband built the families home from the ground up. It was the perfect location for the couple and their five children. Not to mention, the opportunity to have the children’s grandfather living in a separate house on the property as well.

However, when the family saw NET RMA’s plans to expand Toll 49, they were devastated.

“13 months later we moved into a home, and about six weeks after that we found out that two of the proposed routes were suddenly right over the top of our home,” explains Singer as she sits in between two of her children.

“That’s my house” pointing to a spot on the map where both the orange and blue routes meet.

Although Singer does not like the possibility of losing her home, she believes the project is bigger than just her family.

“We all have our emotional attachments to our properties, to our homes, and my story’s not any more important, it’s not any more compelling then anyone else’s this can’t be about me,” Singer continues saying, “it’s got to be about the entire community, so what is going to help everyone, what is going to benefit the most people.”

Looking at a poster with the six options, Singer worries about the future.

“When I looked at NET RMA’s goals and objectives to this project, I realized that the blue and the orange routes don’t impact any of those in a positive way,” says Singer, according to NET RMA’s fact sheet.

The Singer’s have owned their property for over 20 years, and as residents of New Chapel Hill, they want to make sure that everyone in the community agrees with the new route.

New Chapel Hill Mayor, Riley Harris, says with so many residents calling and telling him their opinions, he felt he had to do something.

“They’re not against having the loop, we know that that’s inevitable, it’s going to come around at some point, they just don’t think that this is the best route,” says Mayor Harris.

Looking at the plans inside his office, Harris says it’s part of his job to make the voices of New Chapel hill are heard.

“They’ve asked for public opinion on it, and that’s what this is, we’re giving them our opinion. I hope that they’ll drop the two routes and consider routes west of here,” says Harris.

Mayor Harris says he doesn’t oppose the expansion of Toll 49, he just wants to make sure New Chapel Hill residents are comfortable with the plans.

Harris is planning on giving a presentation to the NET RMA Board, at their next meeting on Tuesday August 13 at the Civic Center in Henderson.

If you would like to learn more information on the KEEP LOOP OFF LAKE Campaign started by local residents CLICK HERE.

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