A field trip was held on February 6, 2006 with representatives from the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, KICK 66, Kentucky Heartwood, Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest, scientists, highway engineers, cavers, local landowners and the press. The areas that would be most impacted by I-66 were visited. Sinking Valley, Short Creek, local Caves, the Rockcastle River corridor, the Daniel Boone National Forest, Sinking Creek and driving on state route 80 from Somerset to London were included in the itinerary. Local residents, farm and home owners from London and Somerset who would be impacted by I-66 construction were interviewed and were able to voice their opinions against I-66. Somerset videographer, Chris Johns, of CJ Productions, LLC, producer of The Caves of Sinking Valley discussed his one hour video documentary – a study of a 33 sq. mi. karst drainage basin, focusing on the ecological and cultural importance of a complex cave system, and potential dangers of building the proposed I-66 highway through the drainage basin. Dr. Ralph Ewers, Ph.D., professor of Geology and director of the Groundwater Research Laboratory at Eastern Kentucky University and noted Karst aquifer expert discussed dye tracing of waterways which flowed underground only to reappear miles away. Larry Simpson, a caver and highway engineer discussed how hazardous spills could wreak havoc on the regional water quality. Experts discussed the catastrophic ecological effects of hazardous spills, how sinkholes will develop in all probability causing unplanned and costly repairs.
The scenic beauty of this area, even in the depths of winter is truly something to behold. Rhodendron grow to 30 feet tall. Pines and Cedars mix with White Oak and other hardwoods. Trees grow out of rocks. And the rocks…the rocks are a rock lover’s paradise! Clean clear water – streams, rivers and waterfalls abound running above, through and below the rocks! Its paradise found. Birds and wildlife are everywhere. I was so thrilled that day to see an Eastern Meadowlark. I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen one around here. And the caves and rock shelters! Most important is the truly spiritual nature of this place, through the karst and caves of Pulaski County to the Rockcastle, a designated Wild and Scenic River in the Daniel Boone National Forest. This area truly is a temperate rain forest which needs to be spared from the bulldozer. It needs to remain a wilderness, a nature lover’s delight. Its the beauty of the Daniel Boone National Forest that is the attraction which draws tourists here and entices high quality people (i.e. taxpayers who contribute to the local economy) and businesses to relocate to this area.
Have a look at the image above of the stranglehold that I-66 could have on Kentucky. When this snake-in-segments was popular during the American Revolution, the message was “JOIN OR DIE!” Today the message is..”JOIN AND DIE!”
The above diagram shows the illegal segmenting of I-66 in Kentucky. By slicing up this “Megaproject” into individual segments also known as “salami tactics” officials do not have to address the overall total cost and impact of the entire road, only individual portions of it at any given time. THIS IS ILLEGAL WHEN DEALING WITH FEDERAL HIGHWAY FUNDS!
And NOW they’re saying “its just independent segments!
Apathy will ensure this road gets built
Remember, a paved-over and heavily polluted state that over-burdens taxpayers to fund pork projects is neither sought out or desirable as a place to live or visit.
People of the US, & the states of Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri & West Virginia, it is time to take action to stop the destruction of our natural environment & waste of funds through poorly planned road building projects! Join US! Post your opinions here, send letters to your local, state & national leaders & newspapers voicing your displeasure at the enormous wasteful expense of this atrocity against hard working taxpayers & the environment. Projections are estimated to cost $BILLIONS! This money is being shifted from funds available for repairing existing roads, educating our children, aiding our elderly & disabled & is allowing convicted felons to be set free! This is not just a local or state issue but a national one as America’s taxpayers will be footing this bill for this “Road to Nowhere.” I-66 will bulldoze a broad path through the central US if it is not stopped. In KY from Paducah to Pikeville, plowing through the Daniel Boone National Forest & Mammoth Cave National Park which will impact many endangered species & the natural scenic beauty of KY. In IL through the Shawnee National Forest. With 2 major East-West interstates to the north & south of I-66, another east-west interstate is not needed.
WE NEED YOU TO GET INVOLVED IN KICK 66-PLEASE HELP!!!
The Bad Road building strategy is this:
1. You build the first increment of the road wherever you have the political power to do so — well placed office holders, corrupt governors, entrenched mining companies, lack of local opposition. Your justification: jobs and terrorism.
2. You then build the next segment of road through the most expensive terrain, such as mountains and karst.
3. Next you build the road section through national forests or national parks.
4. Now you sell the idea that “If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing right.” This is the argument for staying the course, finishing the job, never losing faith, and recovering sunk cost. After all, the last increments only destroy idle farm land, so it would be a shame not to complete what others have sacrificed so dearly to achieve.
The incremental strategy is as old as mankind, starting with Genesis and seen most recently in Iraq. “We cannot let down the 500 brave patriots who have given so much for freedom — we must bring democracy (or roads) to those who have suffered so much.” It has been called “Divide and conquer,” “Camel’s nose under the tent,” “Great oaks from little acorns grow,” and a host of other slogans. On the other hand, resistance to tyranny has always started small. Our efforts to stop bad roads need to include the public reminder that diseases like cancer start small, and that bad roads are a cancer on our lives and land.
I-66 IS A WASTE OF OUR FORESTS, FARMS, FUTURE AND FUNDS
“It is a waste to destroy the wildlife, recreation and natural beauty of our National Forest.”
I-66 will cut a 400 acre swath through the Daniel Boone National Forest & close to Mammoth Cave National Park destroying creeks, caves, endangered species’ habitat as well as hiking, hunting and fishing areas.
“It is a waste to destroy farms and rural communities to build a new highway alongside an existing underused highway.”
Unneeded highways lead to sprawl. Why spend billions of dollars to destroy green space when cities like Lexington are spending millions of dollars to protect green space?
“It is a waste of Kentucky’s people to commit them to minimum wage highway service jobs.”
Studies of rural communities in Appalachia show that new highways create only minimum wage jobs and ruin downtowns and local businesses.
“It is a waste to spend a billion dollars to build a new road when we need to fix existing roads just so our children can get to school.”
“Kentucky will need to raise at least $200 million in matching funds to build I-66. Which taxes are they going to raise next?”
Who really wants this road? Who is going to profit? It is not going to be you!
I-66: WHAT A WASTE!
KICK 66 is a coalition of over 30 organizations and businesses & 1,400+ citizens who oppose I-66 because it is a waste of Kentucky’s forests, farms, future and funds.
Your help is urgently needed. Please do whatever you can to help!