Implications of the Conceptual Plan
As currently proposed, the plan has several significant implications:
- The end result, if it could be achieved, would be a great improvement over the current state of the highway and the adjacent properties, BUT,
- The cost to achieve that result would be exceedingly high and almost certainly cost-prohibitive.
- In particular, the cost to compensate landowners for property expropriated for the widening of
the right of way of Johnston Street and business severance damage payments would be enormous. The conceptual
plan allocates a price of $3.75 million for the expropriation cost for Segment 1. We believe that number
dramatically understates the total cost because it does not account for the substantial severance
damages that will be owed to the many businesses along Johnston Street which will be significantly impacted by the LCG's taking of the substantial rights-of-way
on both sides of the current roadway. (The term "severance damages" describes those compensable
damages that flow from the partial expropriation of a tract of land, i.e., the difference between the
value of the remaining property before and after the taking.) In other words, the LCG will not only be
required to pay for the value of the actual land taken for additional right-of-way, but also for
the "damage" to the remaining property resulting from taking that land.
Severance damages to
businesses often exceed the actual cost of the land.
- Financing the project will be very difficult. The financial burden on the community would be substantial.
- Because Johnston Street would effectively be demolished and reconstructed, we believe, based on expert estimates, that the total construction time, once
commenced, would be at least three years.
- Once the project begins, the flow of traffic on Johnston Street would be significantly disrupted for literally years. This would impact every person
who daily travels on Johnston Street, and would likely have a serious detrimental impact on Johnston Street businesses, as well as those nearby that are directly accessed from
- Emergency vehicle response times for travel on Johnston Street would almost certainly be increased during the time of construction.
Let's modernize and beautify Johnston Street. Let's not wait to create the perfect
solution. Let's plan a good solution and do it now.
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