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North York Widening Project frustrates business owners

PennDOT is using the Eminent Domain Law to remove homes and businesses for their new federally-funded project on I-83.

YORK, Pa. — The office space and property of York residents are being threatened by a PennDOT highway project. 

PennDOT's North York Widening Project is planning to swallow up several residents' land to expand the I-83 interstate. 

The Eminent Domain Law has left many of these citizens essentially powerless. The law allows the government to take private property and convert it for public use. 

"At my age, I don’t have much fight in me," said property manager George Becker. "It's pretty vicious how they're handling it.”

Becker, 94, is just one of the many residents who are being affected by this highway plan. 

"My world has been turned upside down and my life has been forever changed because of PennDOT," Becker said. 

PennDOT's District 8 Press Officer, David Thompson said that the widening project is necessary for the modernization of the interstate. He added that PennDOT is offering solutions for those that may need to re-locate. 

"We offer fair market value to properties and we have other types of things that we can do to help owners with moving costs,” said Thompson.

But Becker said PennDOT is offering nowhere near what he needs. And that regardless of costs, he just wants to stay put. 

“I don’t think there is any compassion," said Becker. "Six years from now I'll be 100, and I don’t know if I want to be fooling around with this when I'm that old.”

Thompson emphasized that the current roadway doesn't meet the capacity needs of the public and that updating I-83 is necessary. 

PennDOT anticipated that construction will begin in 2025 and is estimated to take about three years to complete. 

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