Just the idea of the proposed outer loop is heartbreaking to 21-year-old Reisz Krampe, with the highway possibly cutting through his family's tobacco fields in Owensboro.
“The biggest part of farming is that every single day that I wake up I get to work with my dad,” Krampe said.
The Krampes have been farming in Daviess County since 1896. But Reisz Krampe, one of the younger generations of tobacco farmers who grew up taking naps in his grandfather's combine seats, says he is not just worried about it hurting their livelihood - but ability to making a living.
“People come to Daviess County and Owensboro because you can work in a city then drive 15 minutes outside and be on a half acre plot where you don’t have to worry about anybody," Krampe said. "Or a full acre and you can have this alone time and solitude with your family every single day.”
Daviess County Judge Executive Al Mattingly has gotten dozens of similar concerned emails and phone calls and while he understands said it's too early to be on the defense and can’t say himself whether he is in favor of the project or not.
“We don’t even know what we don’t know. That’s pretty much the case and I certainly don’t believe Owensboro and Davies Countians are made up of people who again want to just not look at anything” Mattingly said. “That they want to keep this community the way it was 100 years ago.”
Mattingly said there will be more public forums on the proposed outer loop and even if it did get approved, it could take decades before construction starts.
“If it’s 40 miles and it’s 10 million a mile -- that’s 400 million” he said. “Good luck with that.”
As for the young farmer, he hopes that never happens.
“This seeks to uproot and destroy everything Daviess Countians hold near and dear about this surrounding area,” Krampe said.
44News reached out to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for more on how they are handling the public backlash, but they did not get back before publication.
As for the heated petition? It now has over 3,000 signatures and climbing.