By Ben Wolf
Monday, September 25, 2006
A Georgia Department of Transportation proposal to revamp the I-75 exit 29 interchange would force three families living on Stanfill Road to find a new neighborhood.
"To put a road through your home, I don't know. It just crushes my heart," said Lee Isaacson.
The DOT says more than 45 years of development since the original interchange was built has caused traffic problems and safety issues. Hahira police report five accidents at the exit in the past two years, including three vehicles flipping over. The Jaws of Life have been used twice.
"We're not discounting the safety concerns. We're all for growth and widening the interstate and providing safe off ramps. I think our biggest concern is how much property needs to be taken in order for that to happen," said homeowner Vicki Williamson.
The construction would force five total homes, a motel, liquor store, and two gas stations to relocate.
Hahira Mayor Temple Ogondu says he isn't against the new exit; however, wants the Department of Transportation to redesign the project to minimize the negative economic impact on Hahira.
DOT officials say they are willing to hear all ideas for a redesign.
"I think there's alternate plans that would work just as well without having to destroy people’s homes and businesses," said Williamson.
On September 28 the DOT will be at the Hahira Middle School to discuss concerns with citizens.