COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – There is strong opposition to a potential highway project funded partially through the state transportation budget.

Residents in the project’s path said this potential project, how it’s funded, and how it’s being approved, is setting a dangerous precedent, that they say could come to any growing city.

“The most distressing parts of this project is of course, the demolition of individual homes,” Representative Melanie Miller (R-City of Ashland) said.

The project is a long-planned highway interchange off Interstate 71 near Cleveland could become a reality within the next decade.

“It’s a very dangerous precedent,” Senator Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) said. “I don’t think the taxpayers of Ohio want legislators to decide where the interchange should go.”

The project, known as the “Brunswick interchange,” was written into the state’s transportation budget.

“Containing language like this in this bill is not the conventional way that interchanges occur in the state of Ohio,” Governor Mike DeWine said when he signed the Transportation Budget.

Usually, decisions about where to build interchanges are made by a stand-alone Ohio department of transportation committee, not put into state law.

DeWine says despite this being unconventional, it is an issue that needs to be fixed, especially as communities grow across the state and face an increase in traffic accidents and traffic congestion.

Senator Romanchuk, and Representatives Miller and Sharon Ray (R-Wadsworth) have introduced companion bills to remove this provision of the transportation budget.

Representative Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) is chair of the House Finance Subcommittee on Transportation and said there was no better time to do this.

“It’s unprecedented for a governor to put $300 million in the highway safety fund,” Patton said. “I would hope my colleagues understand it’s never happened before, it may never happen again.”

Some say projects like this put people’s homes at risk, whether the government takes them to have more space to build or property values decrease because the homes are on a highway.

Brunswick Councilman Nicholas Hanek said this is a blueprint that will be imposed from one community to another and needs to be stopped.

“Do we exist with the status quo, do we just let the accidents pile up, traffic increase, the number of accidents and fatalities increase, or do we try and look for a solution,” Patton said.

The federal government will get the final say on whether any interchange is built.