85-year-old may lose home in Cove Lane construction - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

85-year-old may lose home in Cove Lane construction

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The plan to ease traffic problems around the new Ameristar Casino continues to be a controversy, in part because it puts an elderly woman's home in the path of some road construction.

It's a short road, but the Cove Lane construction plan for the new casino traffic has some residents furious. 85-year-old Virginia Woodson is the only resident on Cove Lane, but in the new plan she'll lose her home.

"Shock," said Jane Taylor, her daughter. "Complete shock."

Taylor says they first heard the possibility in September. 

"I got panicky and worried and upset," said Taylor. "And then I started thinking about how a direct entrance from the casino into my neighborhood in Prien Lake Park was going to be affected. And then I started thinking about the money."

Last week's public hearing announcement all but confirmed her mother's fears. 

"She's dealing with it," said Taylor. "She's very devout, so she says God will protect her."

DOTD redid Cove Lane several years ago, and Taylor says it provided another option, an option she says she's tried to point out several times. 

"When they rebuilt it, they put an extension going east, so it could be possibly made into an entrance ramp," said Taylor. "I think that's the viable alternative, to shut Cove Lane down and make it into an entrance ramp, because all they'd have to do is add an acceleration lane. And that would be cheaper, infinitely cheaper." 

She says she brought it up at the public hearing and again this week to DOTD.

"They said that the alternative that I suggested wasn't applicable, because they no longer did that sort of thing," said Taylor. "They've applied for that sort of things in other areas of the state, and the Highway Department's turned it down." 

Taylor says it's not just about her mother's home. It's also about the cost.

"I think it needs to be looked into by DOTD," said Taylor. "And I think the people of the entire parish should be upset about spending that kind of money. Fifty to 100 million dollars on one entrance ramp for a casino, for Ameristar? It's just no. It's not right."

Taylor says they have not received anything official regarding her mother's home. And she says they don't know what they'll do if Woodson is forced to move.

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