by Jessica Cervantez
Residents from all over Shelby County, including Tenaha, Timpson, and several smaller communities attended Monday night's I-69/Trans-Texas Corridor public hearing.
Dozens opposed the proposed corridor. Their reasons, anything from affecting where they live to the history of their community.
Helen Billingsley, from the Huber community, said, "We've had land in our family for at least 150 years and we'd like to pass it along to our grandchildren. We don't want a highway to take up that land, we don't want to see the cemetery destroyed where our ancestors are buried. We want to keep the tranquility of deep East Texas."
She says the proposed route would go right through her Huber community. Residents from another small community, Silas, also oppose the corridor.
Bob Crump, of the Silas community, said, "We will have to move. It will get one of my places and come really close to our house. Our little farm to market road will be completely wiped out."
Sam Dillon, also of the Silas community, said, "It will be at least ten years. We don't have to worry about it right now."
Texas Department of Transportation officials say everything is in preliminary stages. In fact, it could be a 50-year project. Monday's meeting was to show the narrowed study area and to get residents' comments.
Kathi White, with Tx-Dot, said, "At this point, we have a recommended corridor proposal, but nothing set in stone."
But for some residents it hits too close to home. And, they're concerned it would change their lives as they know it.
Robert Ramsey, who lives in Shelby County, said, "In our point in life, the idea of picking up and moving at the age of 70 or 75 and not having a place to go, and leaving a place we love very much is very disturbing."
This is just one of 47 public hearing Tx-DOT plans to conduct around Texas.
With population growth, the corridor would relieve road congestion.
If you would like to submit comments about the Trans-Texas Corridor you can mail comments to
P.O. Box 14428
Austin, TX 78761
or visit www.keeptexasmoving.com