Leestown Road project expands into backyards

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Crews are widening lanes on Leestown Road to alleviate traffic in the area. Homeowners are starting to see the impact. The Right of Way process is taking form, as crews are encroaching on acquired property.

Gershom Morrison's backyard runs along Leestown Road. The previous homeowner agreed to sell part of the land to the state for this project, and disclosed that agreement when the house was sold.

"I don't have a big yard, but we are going to lose four feet of my yard," he said.

He's not alone, his neighbors went through the same process and some are giving up much more than four feet. One neighbor, essentially doesn't have a backyard anymore.

The state can't work on someone's property until the Right of Way process is settled. The land is appraised, an offer is made, and then the owner has the choice to accept or reject it. If rejected, the matter goes to court.

"We are in court with some of the property owners out there. That's very common and that will have to run its course," said Chuck Wolfe, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Public Affairs Director.

One person along Leestown is moving because of the construction. Deborah Carlisle packed up her things on Tuesday. She rents her home, and says her landlord agreed to sell part of her front lawn. She knew the work was coming, but didn't think it would be as intrusive.

"I know it's necessary. I don't want to stay," said Carlisle.

The road project is scheduled to be finished between spring and fall next year.

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