April 12, 2024

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Norman family fears planned turnpike will cut through their farmland

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – As strategies for the proposed turnpike go ahead, an Oklahoma household fears the new road will split their family farm in 50 percent.

“It’s so devastating for them to even assume about coming in in this article and taking us more than,” said Janette Ward. “This is our relatives farm, and we are unable to have a turnpike in shape proper through the center of it.”

Ward, 82, reported she and her spouse, Don, poured a long time worthy of of blood, sweat and tears into their 400-acre farm around Norman. At times, the few balanced doing work a few employment at as soon as to help save up plenty of cash to get the land off of Indian Hills Highway.

“I really do not know how quite a few hrs a day [we worked], and I was attempting to increase 3 youngsters at the exact time and accomplishing the legwork and various factors,” explained Ward.

The Wards have owned the land given that 1976. It is exactly where about 23 of their family members users, scattered concerning 8 homes, phone residence.

“This farm signifies so much to us due to the fact it is our basis of trying to keep the family alongside one another and trying to keep all the loved ones correct right here in just one minor bundle,” said Ward.

Photo goes with story
A Norman relatives is anxious their farm will be lost to a proposed turnpike enlargement.

But she fears the state’s $5-billion obtain approach could separate her close-knit household.

The proposed turnpike along Indian Hills Highway would join Newcastle to Norman. By default, the street would lower the Ward’s land in half.

“It just just can’t occur,” reported Ward. “We just just can’t enable it happen.”

KFOR talked to the OTA about the Wards’ condition on Monday.

“We’re getting into thought all of her problems,” reported Jessica Brown, the Director of Strategic Communications for the Oklahoma Transportation Cupboard.

Brown claimed if the new street does in point go as a result of Ward’s house the OTA would build an overpass above the street to hook up the home.

“We will make confident the bridges are higher ample to wherever the hay trucks and such in other equipment can get beneath individuals bridges. We’ll do everything and almost everything we can to assistance accommodate her and her household,” reported Brown.

Even with potentially impacting households and their land, the OTA is standing by the necessity of the turnpike.

“There are five accidents a day alongside that stretch of I-35. It is congested to wherever there is no area for growth. We have to uncover a reliever route,” explained Brown. “This is the route we think that will do the very best to reduce some of that site visitors and make the streets safer for motorists…. I want these individuals weren’t put in this placement and they are building a sacrifice that we cannot repay totally, but we’ll do the greatest we can in the style and design characteristics and the payment for them.”