Man worries about cars smashing into his home

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

DOT Statement: 

"Every situation is different, but we have talked to one person whose house is encroaching on our right of way.  He wanted us to purchase his property, but unless it is absolutely needed for a project, we don't make purchases because someone wants us to.   We also offered in December 2013 to sell him some land because ½ of his garage sits on the adjacent parcel of land owned by WisDOT.  He refused that option."

CORNELL, Wis. (WEAU) -- Mike Hoepner has called this spot home for the last 24 years. He has a great view of the river and several trees. It sounds like the perfect place for a house.

"We don't want to be here," he said.

The only part that is a little unnerving is having Highway 178 as your front yard.

"Here's what's left of the last one that ate my mailbox," Hoepner said as he picked up a damaged car piece.

Hoepner says since he moved into the house back in 1990, a little more than a dozen cars have ended up in his lawn. About three drivers have smashed into his house.

"A car parked in our dining room which I told the lady our drive-thru was closed," he said.

Hoepner says he and his family constantly worry about more accidents. Even more so, with a new construction project on Highway 178.

The road is being widened in some parts. A guard rail is being added, but all the wipe outs and crashes have shaken him up.

"If my family would have been sitting here when the lady hit the house, that would have been bad," he said.

We reached out to WisDOT for a response. It provided us with this statement:

"Every situation is different, but we have talked to one person whose house is encroaching on our right of way. He wanted us to purchase his property, but unless it is absolutely needed for a project, we don't make purchases because someone wants us to. We also offered in December 2013 to sell him some land because ½ of his garage sits on the adjacent parcel of land owned by WisDOT. He refused that option."

Hoepner says at this point he just wants out. While he worries about the resale value of his home, he says there are bigger concerns of what could happen.

"We don't feel safe in the house," he said.


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