A group of Daviess County residents is formally organizing itself to oppose the possibility of an “outer loop” being built around Owensboro.
The members of Stop The Outer Loop has elected a president and are planning to form an official group to advocate against the possibility of the state Transportation Cabinet going forward with the loop beyond the feasibility study currently being conducted.
The group has a website, Stop The Outer Loop, and a Facebook page, and plans to launch a second Facebook page to highlight testimonials of people opposed to the possible loop, group president Janie Marksberry said Friday.
“We’ve had a lot of people who are fired up and opposed to this,” Marksberry said.
The state Transportation Cabinet is in the process of finalizing a feasibility study about building loop around the city. Nothing is concrete about the project: All of the routes are just possible roadways, and no funding exists for the project beyond the feasibility study.
A public meeting was held online in June for people to ask questions, and that was followed by a public comment period that closed on July 2. The final report on the feasibility study will be released later this summer.
Officials at the June meeting said the study is just to determine if an outer loop is necessary. The preliminary routes could be partially built, altered or not built at all, officials said.
The group’s Facebook page has 2,200 members. The group’s website, stoptheouterloop.com, includes a map listing residences along the preliminary routes.
“We don’t believe the roads are in the best interest of the farms” or the rural community, Marksberry said of the group members.
Marksberry said her family’s property is in the pathway of one of the proposed routes.
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“We have been here over 20 years. This is our dream property,” Marksberry said.
“In December, we closed on five additional acres” and learned of the feasibility study a few months later, Marksberry said.
All of the signs the group have made and placed in area stores have all been taken by people opposed to the possible loop, Marksberry said.
“It’s everywhere,” Marksberry said, when asked if she hears talk about the loop study in the community. “If you drive around county roads, there are signs everywhere. ...We ordered 1,000 signs, and they’re all gone.”
The group members have talked to local officials about the possible project, Marksberry said, but declined to go into details about those discussions.
In the near future, the group will launch a second website, Faces of the Outer Loop, where people opposed to the idea “will be telling their stories,” Marksberry said.
“We have also been consulted by multiple neighborhood associations that are concerned,” as well as church groups, Marksberry said.
Marksberry said group members did not feel the virtual meeting on the feasibility study reached everyone concerned.
“A lot of people didn’t know about it,” Marksberry said, adding, “our mission is to make sure folks are aware of what’s going on and what’s coming.”
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @JamesMayse