More than 100 Daviess County residents packed a community hall in Sorgho, Kentucky Wednesday to voice their opposition to the proposed Owensboro outer loop in a community-led round table discussion.
Community members got their first look at the project in Tuesday's virtual public meeting that shared information on a possible new highway loop outside Owensboro, which would route heavy traffic around the city.
Nothing is set in stone with the project as it's still a study in the feasibility stage. Officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Owensboro MPO and Green River Area Development District are still trying to gauge whether the outer loop is something the community even wants.
Based on Wednesday's round table turnout, however, many of those living in the rural farming communities outside of Owensboro are not eager to see the project move forward.
“You know the death of these smaller towns -- Stanley, Sorgho, West Louisville, Utica, Maceo. You dump a road out in the middle of Stanley and we’re just going to be the end part of a big road," said meeting organizer and area farmer Jason Strode. "You know it’s not going to be a community anymore, so we don’t want to lose that and that’s what we’re going to fight against.”
Some of those who attended the round table worry they could lose their land, which they have had in their families for generations.
If the project gains traction it would need to establish state funding.
Three routes have been suggested so far, though they could change if the process moves forward.
Feedback made at the roundtable will be presented to state lawmakers, but community members still have until July 2 to review the highway study, complete the survey and make comments.