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Historical District Homeowners Upset Over Road Project

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DECATUR, Ala.(WHNT)-A highway project could soon be butting heads with history in Decatur.

Residents of Decatur's historic district gathered at a specially called meeting Thursday night and voiced concerns over the possibility of increased traffic and decreasing property values in their neighborhood.

The point of contention is a long-planned road project by the Alabama Department of Transportation on Wilson Street, one of Decatur's main arteries. Plans call for traffic to be diverted onto nearby Church Street, which falls within the historical district. Homeowners on that street and other adjacent intersections voiced concerns that the potentially higher volume of traffic poses a threat to public safety and property values.

"Worst combination ever," said homeowner Sheree Brown. "It's going to make my property a median...You've got big rigs, double rigs, driving into a residential area. Most of the time they're driving at too high a rate of speed."

The Decatur Historical Preservation Commission said they are in ongoing talks with ALDOT about finding another route that would avoid the neighborhood.

"The historic district really needs to be protected," said DHPC Chairman John Godwin, who was unsure if a compromise could be reached before the project's fall kickoff. "This is kind of getting ourselves together so we can get comments and submit them to ALDOT."

About fifty people attended Thursday night's neighborhood meeting.

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