Westfield resident upset over sports complex, road construction

Jeremiah Emerich
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 Westfield's new Grand Park Sports Complex is being hailed as a boost to the local economy, but it doesn't come without controversy. Road construction designed to accommodate the additional traffic caused an eminent domain battle with a local resident.

The park, which expects 250 teams to visit every weekend, drawing in 1.5 million visitors every year, takes up 400 acres and boasts two-dozen baseball and softball diamonds, 30 multipurpose fields for soccer, football, rugby, field hockey and lacrosse as well as two indoor facilities for year-round play of a variety of sports.

 A local resident says the construction leading into the park cuts off his property.

We first introduced you to Jeremiah Emerich last week. The state wants to connect the new complex to the Monon Trail and that means cutting off 12 feet of his property to make it happen.

Emerich refused to sell the portion of his land so the state took it through eminent domain. Construction is well underway and Emerich says his driveway has been re-worked to create what he calls a dangerous situation for him to get in and out of his driveway.

"Now I have an easement to get off my property where I'll have to pause for bikers. The intersection itself is going to be a nightmare," he said.

Emerich's driveway now dumps right into the intersection of where Wheeler and Thomlinson roads meet at 186th St.

INDOT took Emerich to court to condemn the part of the land it wants as part of the state's US 31 road project. The state is extending nearby Wheeler Road and argues the trail should be included.

INDOT refused to talk about this specific case, calling it a legal matter.