It’s still in the planning stages, but a proposed interstate that would connect the east and west coasts is drawing debate in Bowling Green.
About 30 people went to Fountain Square Church on Tuesday night to see the Kick 66 road show.
Interstate 66 is a federally proposed highway that would run across southern Kentucky and intersect with I-65 near Bowling Green.
Karyn Moskowitz, who works for for GreenFire consulting group in Paoli, Ind., and Jim Duffer, president of Warren County Citizens for Managed Growth, hosted the event.
Kick 66 centered around a multimedia slide show constructed by Moskowitz and funded through a grant from the University of Kentucky. Photograph slides and sound bites told the story of four Appalachian communities in three states.
Opponents of the road say it will cause environmental, social and economic damage.
“It’s become relatively clear that these local economies are tied to the protection of their natural resources,” Moskowitz said. “If you want economic development and jobs, you have to protect your natural resources, like Mammoth Cave.”
University and city officials say the road will bring more people and jobs to the area and more students and staff to Western.
“It is huge, huge,” said President Gary Ransdell. “I cannot stress it enough. I compare it to when I-65 was put in.”
Ransdell said the highway interchange between I-65 and I-66 would be more significant than any other freeway exchange in the state.
Bowling Green mayor Sandy Jones said the new road is “planning for the future.”
“As far as the overall impact, I think it will allow us to better manage truck traffic,” she said.
The way Jones sees it, I-66 would solve a lot of problems.
Kate Liter and Nicole Koestel showed up at Fountain Square Church on Tuesday night to get extra credit for sociology class.
The two Louisville sophomores came out of the church with whole new perspectives and now oppose thenterstate.
Moskowitz said the proposed interstate is an issue Western students should be concerned about.
“You’re the ones who will be affected by this,” she said.
Reach Josh Coffman at [email protected]