Proposed bypass comes with sacrifices to some Paragould residents

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Bypassing Highways 49 and 412 is a project the Arkansas Highway and Transportation department has discussed for years. The project is expected to alleviate the amount of semis going through town but doing so won't come without sacrifice for some in Greene County.

The McPhereson's of Paragould built their home on Pine Knot Road eight years ago. Five years later, they were delivered some shocking news when someone with the Highway Department stopped by, asking to do a soil sample on their yard.

"And I said 'sure! But why?' and he goes 'y'know, the bypass is coming through' and I said 'yeah, actually where's that coming at?' and he said 'well....right here' and I said 'yeah, exactly where' and he said 'right here!'" Kellie McPhereson explained to Region 8 News. Kellie explained her next move was to call her husband Stacey. "So I called Stacey and said...'we have a bypass coming through the middle of our house.'"

This week, an open house with the highway department affirmed their house was right in the path of the proposed bypass.

"And so we are getting on the ball now and looking for a new property," Kellie told Region 8 News.

So is the Snow family that live off of Westbrook. They too, in the path of the bypass.

"I had seen the surveyors out there but you're just kind of thinking, 'oh, it won't happen to us. They'll move it' but...I'm just kind of shocked," Cameron Snow told Region 8 News.

Snow said he, his wife and two daughters have rented the home for three years and had planned on buying it.

"You can get frustrated and mad but that won't solve anything. I mean, you're human, you have emotions but you just have to make the best of it and move on and look at the positive so that's what we're going to do," Snow said.

The McPhereson's are doing the same.

"You can just get all upset and angry and depressed but life is just harder that way so you just have to take things as they come and look on the bright side of it," Kellie said.

Many residents in that area also spoke with us today off camera. Their sentiments echoed what the McPhereson and Snow families told us.

If you would still like to give your input to the Highway Department, you may do so until March 4th.

For information on how to contact the Highway Department about the proposed bypass and a look at the preliminary map, click here. The Highway Department has links to environmental documents, project maps and project packets available.

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