There is a small group of determined citizens in Jessamine County which have one goal — stop the I-75 connector.
The Interstate 75 project will link Nicholasville to northern Madison County near exit 95. The project is currently in its design phase, and needs an environmental impact study to be completed before construction begins.
According to transportation officials in March, the 13-mile stretch of road will meet with the East Nicholasville Bypass and should be completed in about four years. However, the project is still facing construction difficulty because of its $100-million-plus price tag and public opposition.
“Irreparable damage can be caused by this I-75 corridor to historical land marks and the environment,” spokeswoman and coordinator Liz Hobson said at the group’s latest meeting. “But it's not too late to stop it.”
The group has been meeting for weeks in a private location near the southeastern border of the county near the Palisades, but it is on the verge of launching a full-scale campaign to stop the proposed I-75 connector.
The I-75 Disconnectors, as they call themselves, are made up of a couple dozen Jessamine County citizens who are hoping that more residents will join their cause soon.
The group has a number of grievances which they hope to get out to the public in order to stop the possible two-or-four lane roadway from being built.
The proposed semi-truck pathway will cut through and damage the Kentucky River Palisades, the Valley View Ferry, Tapp’s Cave, Devil’s Pulpit, Spears School and the native Indian Mounds, according to the group. They claim it will also damage old homes, root cellars, rock fences and cemeteries in the Marble Creek watershed; historical land marks that cannot be moved or changed.
Beyond the man-made historical landmarks, there are the animals and vegetation which will be affected including noise and chemical pollution that will forcibly change wild animals feeding, hunting, and breeding patterns.
The group's overall grievance stems from its belief the quality of life in southeastern rural Jessamine County will be lost completely with the influx of thousand of more semi-trucks barging through the county’s back door.
The I-75 Disconnectors are still a small group but are looking to open up special meetings for public discussion in the near future. They're also working on designing T-shirts, car bumper stickers and other ways to get the word out about the negative effects of the proposed road.
However, not everyone one is against the I-75 connector, including Jessamine County Judge-Executive Neal Cassity, who has stated on many occasion the project is essential for business and Nicholasville's growth.
There are also public meetings, workshops and forums being held monthly by the citizen's advisory committee, cooperating/participating parties and consulting parities about the I-75 connector which are open to the public.
Members of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee include the mayors, magistrates and planning and zoning members from both Jessamine and Madison counties. Listings of upcoming meetings, and summaries of past meeting can be found at www.i-75connector.com, which is a site designed to highlight the positives of the project.
Or, to find out more about the opposing argument, go to www.stopI75connector.com or visit their Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/StopI75connector to get more information or to get involved in the fight to stop the I-75 connector from being built.