Auburn residents forced to move for Interstate construction

May 27, 2008

By Chris Vessell bio | email

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Some Auburn residents will soon be forced to hand over their homes to the State Department of Transportation. Construction on a new interstate exit will put 50 residents out of their homes at Windover Farms Mobile Home Park.

Most people are all for boosting business and commerce these days, but for Thomas Harris - its about to be an inconvenience. "Being on the outskirts of town, its nice out here," said Thomas Harris, a leaser.

"It's all a big mess to me to be honest with you. It will be good to benefit Auburn, but its just going to take a while to get it all drawn out and figured out," he said. Harris will have to be patient, as the Alabama Department of transportation is purchasing 50 mobile homes. It will make way for a new Exit 50 that's soon to be built on I-85. The exit will provide easier access to the Auburn Technology Park.

"It's been a long drawn out process, and then they contacted me last month saying I had 90 days to be out," Harris said. Harris leases his mobile home, but many own theirs, like Allison Jones.

"They kind of got us in a funny phase because we are almost ready to buy a house because I'll be graduating in December, but you know its just part of something that has to happen I guess," Allison Jones, a homeowner said. The State DOT is purchasing Jones' current mobile home. Now, she and her husband say they'll be forced to rent an apartment for awhile.

"I feel like they didn't try to take advantage of us which was something I was worried about when I found out I was worried about when I found out the state was coming through," Jones said. Residents we spoke to say the state is paying for hotel and moving fees. The hassle will come in August when many of them will start moving.