Kudzu on the attack from state-owned property to neighbor's yard - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Kudzu on the attack from state-owned property to neighbor's yard

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DALTON, GA (WRCB) - Dalton residents are upset about kudzu invading their yards. It's growing from government property belonging to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

"All this is coming under the fence from the Georgia Department of Transportation's property," said Jean O'Neal, tugging on 20-foot kudzu vines growing underneath her fence.

O'Neal lives off the main exit in Dalton. Her house is the last one on the street, making GDOT one of her neighbors.

"We have had encroachment by their kudzu," she said.

The invasive plant is crawling over her fence, in the yard, and up into her trees -- creating a lot of work for Jean and her husband, John, who are both in their 70s.

"We've asked them to stop this from coming over into our property for the last three decades," Jean said.

The O'Neals are trying to keep up with the overgrowth -- cutting kudzu, pulling out roots and placing bags of weed killer throughout the yard.

"Did it last year, doing it this year. This year I've been doing it a lot more," John said.

I-75 in Whitfield County is maintained by a third-party company, Infrastructure Corporation of America, which does quarterly inspections of the land.

Local GDOT officials declined an on-camera interview, but said crews sprayed for kudzu multiple times in the past.

"Once it comes in our yard, it's our problem. But they won't stop their invasion of the kudzu," said Jean.

But despite letters from lawyers and phone calls from the O'Neals, GDOT's kudzu continues to grow over.

"When this is a government agency that's supposed to be doing that...I mean, if they were my neighbor next door, they would be legally liable for that," she said.

According to GDOT Area Engineer Glenn Warlick, ICA has been instructed to go out and address the kudzu near the O'Neal's property. He said crews should be there sometime over the next few days.
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