The life-long home of an 80-year-old retired elementary school teacher is being demolished to make way for a big highway expansion project in Miami.
Benjamin Brown says in the Miami Herald that he never lived anywhere else and that his family owned the property for nearly 100 years. He and his wife Linda were forced out after the home was seized by the Florida Department of Transportation through eminent domain.
"Why should I move?" he told the newspaper in Friday editions. "I've been here all my life. Why should I move? I'm happy here. Everything I have is here, so, why should I move?"
The FDOT says Brown has to move because his two-story white house with columns and bright blue shutters stands in the way of a $600 million project to make a 1.2 mile stretch of Interstate-395 a lot wider. Still, the project won't break ground until 2018.
The project is also forcing some of Brown’s neighbors to relocate, according to the Herald. FDOT has acquired or is in the process of acquiring 85 other properties in the project's footprint, the paper said.
Brown moved out April 28. The state gave him $300,000 for the house and relocation costs. His new house has four bedrooms and is in another Miami's Liberty City section.