We don’t mean to give you an earworm from Johnny Cash and friends, but we’re talking The Real Highwaymen of North Carolina. OMG…a must for a new reality show featuring Bubba, Butterbean, and the rest of the crew! I’ll bet these guy can give the Ice Road Truckers or the Deadliest Catch guys a run for their money.
For those who haven’t heard, the NC Department of Transportation has seized almost an acre of our farm for three lanes of the new Interstate 540 (Raleigh outer loop). I wish I could say it was a surprise, but we have been in the preserved highway corridor for decades, although we really thought those in charge would realize that the 35 year old route was severely outdated. If politics hadn’t played an oversized role, the highway, in our humble opinion, should have been relocate much farther south.
Since a new route wasn’t chosen, land clearing began this week on the far east section of JLBG. Thank goodness we spent countless hours during the last year relocating plant material and building a seriously large noise/pollution mitigation berm, which is now planted with a variety of rare evergreens.
This week was our first experience with a feller-buncher machine. To say this behemoth exudes machismo, would be like calling COVID a bad cold. The crunching and buzzing of the giant saw and pincers would have only been more apropos if The Village People’s Macho Man had been blaring through the equipment speakers. We watched in astonishment as 3-4 mature trees at a time were plucked from the ground with these ease we pull small weeds from compost rich soil.
One of the next steps in the project will be changes in our entrance road, Sauls Road, which will be raised 12 feet in height to accommodate the highway traffic on the new Interstate underneath. Quite an adventure awaits. On the bright side, there will be some significant adjoining land parcels that should become available and have the potential for JLBG to greatly expand its land holdings. Fingers crossed as we learn about and navigate that process. Good thoughts are welcomed!
Cannot imagine how sad, how difficult it is to lose so much beautiful garden. In addition to the loss, the addition of noise only makes it that much worse Sad to read this story.
At the very least, ask them to give you the wood chips from all that destruction so your gardens can get some benefit from it all.
Not more roads!! LESS PEOPLE
Totally agree!! The South is being destroyed by all these people moving in.
Ugh. This is unacceptable. We need less government, less seizure, more private property rights protections.
I’m glad you had a heads-up, at least. And I’m looking forward to seeing what lovely ways you come up to mitigate this mess.
Maybe you could “borrow” the equipment for more creating more crevice gardens?
So sad to lose the trees for more concrete. Fighting Mother Nature is bad enough but progress?!
This is an event that requires community grieving. I am very sorry.