A family forced to relocate before Highway 17 Bypass begins

A family forced to relocate before Highway 17 Bypass begins

JONES COUNTY - Groundbreaking on a new Highway 17 Bypass is scheduled for next year, but first almost 50 people who live in the path of construction will be forced to leave.

NewsChannel 12 first spoke with the Metts couple about a year and a half ago, when they first learned they'd have to move. Melba Metts said when they bought their home 10 years ago they never thought they'd have to move again

"When we came here, you know we were putting down roots and that was going to be it," she said.

In January the DOT got the funds they needed to build the bypass around Maysville and Pollocksville.  The plan also includes widening the road from two lanes to four.

Metts said after she and her husband saw the DOT plans last October for the Highway 17 Bypass, she knew part of the road would be built right through her home. She said they now have to move their home to a new piece of land they bought six miles up the road.

Metts said workers have been at her home for days getting it ready to move by breaking up the brick foundation so they can lift it up and move it to its new location.

Now the family, along with their dog, are staying at a bed and breakfast until their home is ready to move. 

Metts said they will get $19,000 for moving expenses, but will not receive the funds until construction is over.

"It's hard to move from a house to a one room and survive," she explained.

The project, funded by the DOT will cost about $225 million. Officials said construction will begin by the end of 2015.

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