NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – The turmoil over a controversial turnpike enlargement proposal carries on as a Norman widow clarifies how she, like potentially hundreds of other individuals, will be impacted negatively if it gets to be a fact.
The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is proposing a new turnpike alongside Indian Hills Street, one particular that would hook up Newcastle to Norman. They are also seeking to lengthen the Kickapoo Turnpike west of Lake Thunderbird, primarily connecting the Kickpoo Turnpike to Purcell.
Potentially standing in the way of that proposal, having said that, is an believed 600 homes, 1 of them belonging to a widow who claims the turnpike enlargement will at most depart her without the need of her beloved household and at finest seriously devalue it.
Tassie Hirschfeld invited KFOR to her Norman household Friday to present us how, according OTA’s current strategy, the turnpike would be developed about a quarter-mile from her house. She lives in close proximity to Southeast 84th Avenue and Cedar Lane Street.
“Who wants to get a dwelling next to a highway?” she questioned, her voice filled with emotion. “The present-day path, it will be ideal there. I mean, actually, my neighbor’s property is in the eminent area zone, and so, alternatively of the tranquil character, it’ll be semi-trucks and targeted traffic and pollution and dazzling lights proper there.”
Hirschfeld explained even considered right now she’s not in the eminent domain zone of the turnpike’s planned path, she’d most likely have to shift to regain peace in her daily life.
She spelled out that this is also about more than just money to her, but about getting rid of a residence important to her coronary heart, a single her late husband custom-created in 2007.
“It just feels like shedding him all more than all over again, but in an even even worse way than I could have imagined,” she mentioned.
Her spouse Corson Hirschfeld was a very well-regarded artist. He died of dementia in 2020.
“This dwelling is unique because my partner and I created and designed it,” she mentioned. “He was an artist. It reflects all of his love of natural beauty and creating stunning points. He did all the things from deciding upon and staining those cedar columns [by the front door] to producing that stained glass window [above it], to designing and planning all of the landscaping, planting all of the trees and paying hrs and times and months reading through about prairie ecosystems so we could make a wildlife habitat listed here. So, that all speaks to who he was as a particular person, and that all of that adore of land and beauty and mother nature can be stolen from me by a turnpike that the town does not want or need is so incorrect.”
Hirschfeld mentioned she also fears that an adjustment of the turnpike’s route could likely set her in the eminent domain zone, where by dozens and possibly hundreds would be taken out from their homes.
She said the OTA has put a difficult pause on all of their lives.
“They’re holding our houses hostage due to the fact we just cannot make life decisions, we can not make plans, we cannot believe about advertising or going for the reason that there’s just so substantially uncertainty,” she stated.
On Tuesday, Norman Town Council handed a resolution expressing their opposition to the expansion.
An Oklahoma Turnpike Authority formal responded to KFOR by email, prior to the council’s vote Tuesday, indicating inquiries and fears continue on to be resolved, and that it would hold “several general public conferences in the impacted locations to focus on the corridor and get input from area residence proprietors.”
Prior to that, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority provided News 4 with the next statement:
“March 11th, OTA officially assigned a dozen engineering style teams to commence operate on certain initiatives during the Accessibility Oklahoma application. These assignments induce the commencing of preliminary scientific studies and original styles. Aerial and floor survey work together the proposed venture parts is between the initially pursuits to arise. Make sure you be aware – this is the beginning of a extended approach. Even so, some initiatives, this kind of as widening the John Kilpatrick Turnpike, can get started quicker because no proper-of-way is wanted for development.
OTA’s public response team continues communicating with anxious citizens who have attained out for facts on the software. Concerns and issues continue to be tackled as they are obtained, usually in 24 several hours.
For the most up-to-day info about this software, make sure you go to www.AccessOklahoma.com. To observe, OTA features an informational podcast through the web-site.”
OKLAHOMA TURNPIKE AUTHORITY SPOKESPERSON
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