FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Residents in a Fairhope subdivision are fighting to protect their homes and property from a major road-widening project on Highway 181.
“We don’t want to see one of those accidents that we’ve seen on Highway 181 over the past seven or eight months end up in our yards. That’s not something we’re thrilled about,” said Josh Lambert who lives in the Stone Creek subdivision.
Lambert isn’t happy. That’s because the current drawings from the Alabama Department of Transportation put the new highway within feet of his home. His neighbor’s house would be seized by eminent domain and ultimately demolished to make way for traffic.
“It seriously affects my neighbors. It affects me,” he said.
Lambert and other residents voiced their frustrations to the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization Thursday in a special called meeting. The MPO has no authority over the actual project, but they’re helping facilitate the conversation.
“Hopefully ALDOT is listening and we can look at the environmental assessments and some other things and hopefully continue this conversation so we’re not as impactful to that subdivision as the previous plans were,” said Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan, who also serves on the Eastern Shore MPO.
Residents are now asking ALDOT to revisit the impact studies and take land on the western side of Highway 181 which would ultimately lessen the impact to their neighborhood.
“It hasn’t been looked at in over a decade. There’s a lot of new variables here, a lot of new considerations,” Lambert said.
Right now no decision has been made. ALDOT says they’ll look at all of the options and meet with homeowners again in the coming months.