I-65 to I-71 regional connector routes to avoid Bernheim property

I-65 to I-71 regional connector routes to avoid Bernheim property

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The I-65/I-71 Regional Connector Planning Study is moving forward, and no sections of the proposed routes that cross through property owned by the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest remain under consideration, due to initial screening and environmental concerns.

The announcement came on Wednesday.

“The planning study for the 1-65 to 1-71 connector is essential to account for all aspects of the project, including route options and feedback from local stakeholders,” said Gov. Bevin. “We have several viable options for this important project that will not impact conservation land owned by Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. I applaud Secretary Thomas and KYTC for their work to ensure we select the best possible route for the connector without affecting the conservation land.”

The one-year planning study seeks to explore potential routes to connect I-65 in Bullitt County to I-71 in Oldham or Henry counties. Fifteen preliminary routes of wide, potential corridors were proposed this summer. Of the 15 proposed routes, 12 were new and three were along existing routes.

Proposed routes will be shared at the next stakeholder focus group meeting expected to take place before the end of the year.

Following the announcement, Bernheim Forest released the following statement:

“Bernheim’s initial reaction is that we applaud the decision to ensure that the route for the I-65 to I-71 Regional Connector does not affect Bernheim’s conservation land. We are thrilled that the decision was made to protect a large forest that provides clean air and water for our region, habitat for several rare species and serves as a crucial corridor to allow wildlife to move safely. We appreciate that the Commonwealth has heard the voices of the many people speaking for nature and conservation in general, and Bernheim specifically. We are hopeful that moving forward, the study will find that the best solution is to improve existing infrastructure, further limiting the environmental impact of the Regional Connector. We encourage LG&E to follow this action and to also protect this critical conservation land from the proposed pipeline.”

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