An elderly couple are among a number of Brisbane homeowners set to lose their properties when a busy arterial road is widened.
Pensioner Theano Michellis had to fight tooth and nail for the low set cottage near the Brisbane River she’s called home for the past 25 years.
The 74-year-old says her husband didn’t like the property at first but she managed to convince him it was perfect.
Now the mother of four has another scrap on her hands, with news their East Brisbane residence and dozens like it are to be demolished to make way for a wider road.
Mrs Michellis says she’s not going anywhere and no amount of money is worth the stress of moving.
“I say no, I tell them no please. Nobody leave from here,” said the former factory worker, who migrated from Greece in 1963.
“It’s not worth it. Here (we are) close to everything. Why would we leave?”
The Michellis’s is one of 21 homes, an apartment block and three commercial properties set be resumed from 2016.
They will make way for two extra lanes on a congestion-prone section of Lytton Road in Brisbane’s inner east.
It’s hoped the $115 million upgrade will halve commuter travel times in peak hour.
Brisbane’s Acting Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said on Friday the plans had been flagged long ago and promised that affected properties would be bought back at market value.
“The number (of vehicles) on this road will continue to grow and there’s no doubt about that,” he told reporters on Friday.
“Both Stanley Street and (the) Wynnum Road corridor are amongst the most congested roads in the city and that’s why we’re taking action.”
However, local councillor Shayne Sutton said the upgrade doesn’t go far enough and will create a bottleneck where the six-lane road reverts to four.
She’s also critical of what she says is a lack of consultation with affected residents.
“I got wind of this of announcement yesterday so I have already sent an email communication out to (residents) late yesterday afternoon,” she told reporters.
“Understandably they have come back absolutely gobsmacked with this news.”
Construction is expected to begin in 2018 and finish in 2020.