Three homeowners stuck living next to busy highway

Posted at 5:33 PM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 17:33:24-04

Right now, three homeowners are living in limbo. One man says his peace of mind sits in FDOT’s hands.

“Now you hear what I’m saying, that’s what we hear all night long,” James Jackson said over the noise of a loud truck driving on the highway.

“If I could afford a hotel, I’d go to a hotel! But I can’t afford a hotel and a house mortgage also,” Jackson said.

Jackson said his house is one of three left on Grace Street in Tampa that the Florida Department of Transportation hasn’t purchased after expanding the highway in his backyard. One of his neighbors closest to the freeway has a pending offer, but Jackson is waiting for his, sending letters and e-mails. Jackson said FDOT has been putting him off since last fall.

In a statement FDOT said, “FDOT has a process to work through. As soon as we are able to do something we will.”

“Working on it, I don’t know what that means right now, I would like to know, get a confirmation on what are they going to do,” Jackson said.

Now beer cans and trash litter the grass near the highway, and often don’t stay there.

“Over here is where they throw trash in my yard every day, every day I’m out here cleaning my yard up,” Jackson said.

That’s after waking up around 3 am to trucks and cars speeding by. Jackson hopes FDOT will give him the same offer they did his neighbor, but right now, he’s still waiting.

 “I’m fighting a mighty giant and I’m the little guy trying to fight them,” Jackson said.