Macomb County family fears road work will force them out of 120-year-old home

Plans proposed to widen Romeo Plank Road in Macomb Township

A Macomb Township family is afraid a road construction project will force them out of their home.

MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A Macomb County family is afraid a road construction project will force them out of their home, which has stood in its spot for 120 years.

The house is on Romeo Plank Road, just north of 22 Mile Road in Macomb Township. The family’s concern stems from proposed plans to widen Romeo Plank Road.

Stretches of the road need to be widened to ease traffic congestion, and the proposal is to increase the road to five lanes in a spot where it’s currently just two.

The project is in the first stage of development, so nothing is set in stone.

“They can’t legally tell me that we’re going to lose the house, but they have said that we are in the mapping area,” Christian Thursam said.

Christian and Michael Thursam said they’re worried about their home being in jeopardy.

“We just don’t want to lose our home,” Michael Thursam said. “We didn’t know that this was even possible, to lose your home like this, in this fashion.”

Their anxiety is at an all-time high because they were recently given an environmental assessment so the people in charge of the construction project could review what the next steps will be.

“We knew when we moved in there was a possibility they could add a lane,” Christian Thursam said. “We didn’t assume five lanes, ever.”

The two have six children and have lived in the home for a year, investing $15,000-$20,000 in modernizing it, they said.

The home was originally built in 1900.

“We spent a lot of money,” Christian Thursam said. “We just bought a brand-new furnace last year for $7,000.”

The other issue is where the family goes from here -- at a time when housing prices are soaring through the roof.

“We have a half-acre back there,” Christian Thursam said. “Where do you get that in Macomb Township? We like where we’re at. This is like the city and then our backyard. There’s woods, trails. It’s like country back there, so we like our situation. We don’t want it to change.”

Officials from Macomb County and Macomb Township said the project is in its earliest stage of development. They’re planning to work with the family to find common ground.

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.