TYLER, Texas (KETK)
Some East Texas homeowners are banding together to talk about their concerns about Toll 49. Net RMA plans to expand the road, through the Eastern part of Smith County.
However, many worry this will affect everyday life.
It’s been in the works for months, the expansion of Toll 49. As the start date gets closer, people who live in and near the proposed path are expressing their concerns.
“They have more than a right to say what they’re thinking of whether the loop comes through their homes like mine or comes through something they worked all their lives for,” says Michelle Heines, wife to Mayor Heines.
Inside Heines’ childhood home, she says her house is the only thing left from her father.
Others who attended say there are better ways to expand the toll. Also, stating they found out about the project at the last minute.
“The problem is that we are dealing with so many residents like us who live in a rural area, that really don’t have a local newspaper or local government that would inform the residents,” explains Connie Pinkerton, who is concerned about her property being affected.
Homeowners walked away with signs to put in their yard letting the public know they are against the blue and orange routes.
They say out of the six proposed options the blue and orange lines will affect nearly 50 homes.
“The proposed orange route splits my ranch in half, and the proposed blue route splits my business partners ranch in half,” says Scott Herod, another concerned homeowner.
For people like John Ashcraft, his home is all he has, and he’d lose rare pileated woodpeckers.
“I have a new home, I don’t have a garage, I don’t have landscaping or a driveway yet, so I’m on hold. I can’t spend any more money on this home until I know what’s going on,” says John Ashcraft.
Now, those who are worried say they hope Net RMA will listen to their concerns.