Residents in more than two dozen mobile homes will be displaced by a proposed expansion of Worthsville Road from U.S. 31 to State Road 135.
James Mann Sr. has lived in a mobile home along Worthsville Road for about 15 years with his mother, who he had been taking care of until she passed away several weeks ago. He received a notice earlier this month informing him that he would need to be relocated as part of the road expansion project.
“I don’t like it at all,” Mann said.
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Being forced to move is difficult when he thinks about the emotional ties he has to the area, and the time he has put into gardening and maintenance.
“She is with me there,” Mann said.
The expansion of Worthsville Road from two lanes of traffic to four has long been part of the city’s plans to provide what officials say is a desperately needed east to west route through Greenwood. The first section of the expansion — U.S. 31 to Interstate 65 — was completed last fall.
Work from State Road 135 to U.S. 31 is planned in three sections, starting at U.S. 31 and wrapping up at State Road 135, Greenwood senior technician Paul Peoni said.
Construction from U.S. 31 to Averitt Road is planned for 2019. The next section, Averitt to Honeycreek roads, is planned for 2021. Federal funding will cover 80 percent of the cost of work on those roads, while the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission will fund the remainder, he said.
A timeline for work on the last section, from State Road 135 to Honeycreek Road, hasn’t been determined as federal funding hasn’t been approved, Peoni said.
Roundabouts are planned at Averitt and Honecreek roads, and the new road would eliminate two 90-degree turns and build a more direct route between the two roads.
Relocating the mobile homes, which have driveways directly connected to Worthsville Road, will make the road safer as it expands and attracts more traffic, United Consulting manager Devin Stettler said.
Some of the residents own their mobile home and rent the land, while others rent both the mobile home and the land. Their concerns include what compensation will they get to cover the expense of moving.
Doug Eland has lived in Greenwood Estates along Worthsville Road for about two years. He had no idea that this road expansion would impact him when he first moved to the area, and is worried about how much it will cost him to move again.
Federal law requires that residents be reimbursed for costs associated with relocation, whether that is moving a mobile home to another location or selling the mobile home and purchasing another one, said Joe Gromosky, a consultant with Boomerang Ventures, who will be handling the relocation process.
The timeline for the relocation process means that most people won’t be required to leave there homes until next spring at the earliest, he said.
RHP Properties, which manages Greenwood Estates, said it is monitoring the situation.
“Our highest priority is the safety and well being of our residents,” RHP Properties President Joel Brown said in a statement. “We are aware of the city’s plans and are in the process of reviewing. We will be reaching out to city of Greenwood officials to obtain more information and confirm specifics of the proposed plans.”
Greenwood plans to expand Worthsville Road from U.S. 31 to State Road 135 to create an east to west route through the city to accommodate additional traffic and development in the area.
Here’s the initial timeline:
U.S. 31 to Averitt Road: 2019
Averitt Road to Honeycreek Road: 2021
Honeycreek Road to State Road 135: To be determined