Opponents Worry I-75 Connector Will Take A Toll On Environment
SPEARS, Ky. - The mayors of Nicholasville and Richmond have weighed in on the long-term road project known as the I-75 Connector, which supporters say would ease traffic congestion and bolster commerce. But opponents of the proposed roadway say Kentucky could lose more than it gains.
The idea of linking Nicholasville and Interstate 75 in northern Madison County has been batted around since the 1980s and momentum has been building this year to see the project realized. But where some see potential for economic growth, others see an idyllic countryside threatened.
"Once you pave it over, that's it. It's gone for future generations," says Liz Hobson, who owns 45 acres of land around Marble Creek in southeastern Jessamine County.
"Do we really need to save truckers ten to fifteen minutes and take away this kind of beautiful environment and this kind of peace?" she asks.
Hobson is a spokesperson for a group calling themselves the “disconnectors.” They say the project would disrupt ecosystems, increase traffic in Jessamine County, and cost upwards of $400 million dollars in a time when neither the state nor federal government has much money to spare. And the disconnectors are taking that message to public meetings and the internet.
"We have a petition to sign. In the ten days the petition has been up, we've got way over 300 signatures, probably 350, from all over the country with some of the most passionate pleas to preserve this land that you could ever imagine," she says.
Hobson says the group’s goal is simply to educate the public on the potential effects of the connector and give voice to a heartfelt opposition.