CELINA (CBSDFW.COM) – No one wants a freeway running through their backyard, but some Celina Residents are learning for the first time that they might soon have one.
The county’s proposed outer loop has been planned for nearly ten years. But some homeowners are just now learning about a change that puts them right in the path of it.
Kim Mcquiston’s home in Celina is surrounded by trees planted for lost loved ones, and has a separate living space for an ailing parent. “The tree we planted when my husbands grandmother passed away… Each tree we have is really special to us.”
It’s more than just a house for her family of five. “We built this ourselves, this is our home. This is all my kids know.”
McQuiston didn’t know that the Collin County Toll Road Authority has her property in its sights as a possible route for a new toll road. “I heard it was going to be the north of us, so I wasn’t too concerned. But now I’m hearing it could right through our property and its kind of irritating when you don’t know anything about it.”
“Eventually this will be the new George Bush (tollway), this will be a huge road for us,” says Celina Mayor Jim Lewis.
Lewis is excited about the project, which would eventually link Highway 75 to Interstate 35. But he says he was blindsided by another plan presented this week. Lewis and other town officials think the new freeway should go through an existing county road. But new proposed routes put it right in the path of existing houses. “I don’t want to see them tearing down anybody’s houses to build a road.”
The alternate routes are considered safer with less curves and elevation also offering better accessibility to a future college campus. The houses in the way range from modest to million dollar.
Homeowners say they never expected to be fighting to preserve their property in a rural area where there are still more cows than cars.
As many as three dozen homes could be impacted by the right of way for the new road.
The Collin County Toll Authority plans to hold a public hearing before a decision is made.