Woman shares front yard with NC highway, doesn't plan to pull up stakes

Front Yard Paved Into Highway, Woman Stays

SUMMERFIELD, N.C. – The multi-lane expansion of U.S. 220 has taken several feet of Lillie Stigall's front yard with it since construction began in 2012.

She has lived in her home right off the highway for the past 64 years, where she first lived with her husband and raised their four children since 1953.

Today, the distance between the edge of the highway and Stigall’s front porch is now only 22 feet. Despite that, moving is not an option.

"I've been here for so long, I just hate to pull up stakes and leave," Stigall said.

The 89-year-old says the noise and constant traffic of the highway doesn't even bother her anymore.

"I'm used to it! I've been here so many years, I don't pay it no mind."

Even with no guardrail or sidewalk, she's not too concerned.

"I'd love to have one," says Stigall, "But I don't think they're going to consider putting me up one."

She says NCDOT believes she wouldn't be able to see over it and would make it dangerous for her to pull out of her driveway.

"I don't drive much now," she says. "Too much traffic."

Stigall uses her backyard to walk to the supermarket and pharmacy located right next door. She also plants her own vegetables out in her garden, adding she loves to be outside.

"I have tomatoes and squash and okra and bell peppers."

There's even a giant oak tree in the yard that was planted by her husband Jack when they moved there.  He's since passed, but his legacy lives on.

The trees roots are almost as strong as her own.

"It's where I've been raised at," she says. "I've been here all my life, really." 

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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