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Kentucky Planning a New Freeway Around Louisville, Raising Alarms

Local news sources are shedding light on planning for a new highway route that could pass through sensitive habitat of endangered that has yet to undertake a formal environmental or public input process.
July 11, 2019, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"State officials are studying plans to build a highway around Metro Louisville connecting Interstate 65 and 71, but the proposal will not include public comment or an in-depth environmental review," reports Ryan Van Velzer.

"The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet received $2 million from the legislature last year to plan a highway connecting the highways going through Bullitt and either Henry or Oldham counties" adds Van Velzer.

Plans so far include neither an environmental review nor a public input process. Advocates have already begun calling for those steps to take place earlier in the process, before the state narrows down its options for routes. Right now the state is considering 15 potential routes for the new connector.

The case for the new highway is predicated on the need to provide highway connections to growing communities in Bullitt and either Henry or Oldham counties, outside of Louisville.

Earlier coverage of the proposed connector by Marcus Green details who has been contributing feedback to the project so far, which includes "elected officials and their surrogates, local and state government agencies, chambers of commerce and industrial development organizations." As for which elected officials have been represented by the aforementioned surrogates, according to Greem they include U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Yarmuth.

The state of Kentucky doesn't have a solid record of building necessary highway infrastructure. The Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project was strongly criticized in the planning stages and after the project opened. Aaron Renn refreshed the criticism of that project in June 2019, asking the question of whether the project was the biggest boondoggle of the 21st century.

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Published on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in WFPL
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