Couple fears new turnpike will disrupt peaceful life they’ve built

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A proposed turnpike loop in eastern Oklahoma County has drawn a lot of controversy lately.

"Residents have been protesting the idea, but turnpike officials continue to move forward with their plans.

The proposed plans will go right through an area between the Turner Turpike and I-40 and between Triple X and Harrah Road in eastern Oklahoma County.

Many homes will be taken out as part of the construction.

While some said they will be forced to move, others are worried their peaceful backyards will be disrupted by traffic.

Terry and Lafonda Haws have spent more than two decades building their home near Northeast 150th and Peebly Road.

“(Here), you can feel the pressure leaving you from a hard week's work,” Terry said.

Their home is their escape from the stress of life.

“We come out here, and we read,” Terry said.

Their home is far from the city.

“It's another world here," Terry said. "It's away from the city noise. It's away from the city traffic.”

But, their land is right in the path of one of the projected locations of the Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike alignment.

“I left Oklahoma City to get what I have here," Terry said. "And, to think they're going to bring the concrete and the noise and traffic here, I don't have adequate language to describe how devastating it is.”

“I never want to go back to city life at all,” LaFonda said.

But, that's what this couple fears the turnpike construction will do.

They aren't the only ones.

Corey Leinneweber lives along the southern path of the proposed turnpike.

“You'll be going in the backyard, and people driving by," Leinneweber said. "It's not going to be the same anymore.”

Terry has spent more than two decades building his home.

Every tree, every flower connected to a memory.

He even has a memorial to his deceased mother.

“I don't have the strength to physically move all of this stuff,” Terry said.

Turnpike officials said the final alignment will be announced next month.

Negotiations with land owners expected to begin around June.

It's a lot for Terry and LaFonda to absorb.

They just hope this peaceful place they call home can somehow be spared.

“There's no way I can see replacing it,” Terry said.

“We love this place,” LaFonda said.

Terry said, even if they stay there, he won't use the turnpike, because he can't afford it.

Turnpike officials said their plans are moving forward.

While they try to avoid as many homes as they can, they said those who will be impacted can expect a generous offer.

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