Joan Pelphrey used to be able to sit on her deck and watch the Mississippi River flow as surrounding trees and bushes swayed with the wind.
She can still see the river and trees today, but she also can see a bridge attached to the C. Elmer Anderson Memorial Highway.
But she is not complaining.
Pelphrey and her husband, Robert Pelphrey, like many of their neighbors don't mind the bypass running through their back yards or close to them.
"I like the bridge," said Joan. "I use the paths a lot."
Neighbors down Park View, Cory and Rishona Hendricks and Brad Person and Jennifer Imsande, also enjoy the bypass for its trail system that runs along the highway. They have easy access to the trail, which is less than a quarter mile from their homes.
The residents also enjoy the bypass because it saves them time when they drive south. Before they had to go through Brainerd to get to Highway 371. Now they can hop in their vehicles and get on the bypass from County Road 48.
"It saves at least 20-25 minutes," said Joan Pelphrey.
Pelphrey said she only notices the noise from the vehicles passing on the bridge when she is outside, but can tune it out. She used to be able to hear traffic from Highway 371 before the bypass was constructed and noise from North Central Motor Speedway, so it is no big deal to her.
"It's not as loud as I thought it would be," said Person.
Person and Imsande bought their river lot last winter, built their home and moved in July.
"We knew the bypass would be there," said Imsande. "We definitely thought about it (not purchasing the lot because of the bypass) but it was the only lot left on the river.
"It's a bummer because we wanted to hear the river."
Imsande said, however, that the trails are a big plus and she does not plan to move.
The Hendrickses live next door and were not yet sure how the bypass would affect the family, but said they also like it and are not planning to move.
"You can hear the noise a little bit outside," sad Rishona Hendricks. "But you get used to it."
The Pelphreys, on the other hand, who are the closest to the bridge, are trying to sell their home. Buth they said it is not because of the bypass.
"We knew about the bypass for five years and we didn't care (that it was going to be constructed in their back yard)," said Joan Pelphrey.
The Pelphreys bought a lot on Love Lake and plan to build a home. They have always wanted to live on the lake.
Pelphrey said the market value of their home did not change because of the bypass.
"People like to have the easy access," she said.
Dean and Tam Renneke also live near the river on Paris Road. The road used to be Forestview Drive, but when the bypass was constructed it was cut off. The family has lived by the river for almost nine years.
"I knew the bypass would happen," said Tam Renneke. "I just didn't think it would be so close to the house."
"I can hear the noise from the highway at night when I go to sleep."
Renneke is concerned about the wildlife since she sees a lot of deer in the woods near her home.
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