"It's anti-Texan and anti-American."
By JASON WHITELY
CEDAR HILL – It's a serene setting when you can hear the wind coming.
"It's like a little bit of heaven," said Janie Haga as she described her home in a rural part of Cedar Hill.
Problem is, she said, her place might not be so peaceful much longer.
TxDOT's long-planned Loop 9 is getting closer to reality. The current proposal puts it right through Haga's five acres, which is something she recently discovered.
"I feel like I live in Russia because what TxDOT always said is, 'Well, we've had this on the website for years,'" she said. "So, I'm supposed to sit at home and surf the web looking for who's going to take my property away from me?"
Loop 9 will be the outermost circle around the Dalls-Fort Worth area, and eventually will be a 240-mile road around the cities.
The first 40 miles, a toll road, are proposed to stretch from Interstate 20 near Seagoville to Highway 287 in Midlothian.
Unfortunately, 400 homes, including Haga's, and businesses stand in the way, TxDOT said.
But neighbors want Loop 9 built further south on an existing right-of-way through Waxahachie, Ennis and Kaufman.
Haga fears her community will be bought out while property values are at recession level lows.
"It's anti-Texan and anti-American," she said.
TxDOT said planning this tollway was like threading a needle. Designers have had to gerrymander the road around a cement plant, neighborhoods, a radio tower and other obstacles. The state said the plan is still incomplete.
"This project remains a proposed project," said Tim Nesbitt, TxDOT’s Loop 9 project manager. "The design we have now is a preliminary design. We have no federal approval to take this project to a public hearing."
TxDOT said the east-west corridor is needed for future growth in Dallas and Ellis counties.
"Ideally, in a perfect world [and] I guess if the funding is available, we would like to start the right of way acquisition in the next five years,” Nesbit said. “Hopefully start construction in the next ten years."
But precisely where Loop 9 will eventually go remains the residents concern.
Nesbitt accepted an invitation to meet with residents and explain the project’s status. Haga said the public meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Equestrian Arena at 1302 S. Duncanville Road.
Five-hundred to 1,000 people are expected to attend.
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