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News Item #562
Anti-I-66 Meeting in Bowling Green Uses Misleading Information
Posted: 13-Nov-2003 4:40AM CST

Narration for a video presented during a meeting of persons against the construction of the proposed I-66 in Warren County described the site of a Dishman Lane collapse as being close to the location of the Kentucky Tri-Modal Transpark. The Bowling Green Daily News reports that the sites are 5-1/2 miles apart. A look at a map reveals that the two sites are at least 10 miles apart. The Dishman Lane collapse is much closer to sites such the William H. Natcher Parkway, Interstate 65, and the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport which to the best of my knowledge have not suffered cave ins.

The meeting was attended by about 20 people.

More information: Bowling Green Daily News: Presentation geared toward people against development (Nov. 12, 2003) [Outside Link]

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Comment posted by Danny Lewis on 15-Nov-2003 2:19AM CST
It seems like these environmentalists overly exagerate the envionmental impact of I66. According to them, I66 will kill us all!!
Comment posted by Jeff Carlyle on 15-Nov-2003 3:45AM CST
The small number of people who are against seem to be the people that are against every proposal that comes around. I think they are just afraid of change.

I think a single highway connecting the entire state from east-to-west will do wonders for the state. I-64 tied the northern part of the state together, and I-66 can tie the southern part of the state together.
Comment posted by Don S. on 15-Nov-2003 11:18PM CST
If the karst was as unstable as some of the enviromentalists would like to believe then:
1) Western Kentucky University should never have been built
2) the Current Airport Should never have been built
3) Bowling Green should Still be a little town of 15000 instead of 50000.

I agree with Jeff, There is a group of people that are apposed to every proposal to improve (change) Bowling Green: The Cemetary Rd Project, Downtown Revitalization, The Transpark, I-66, The Alvaton Rd Project. It's unfortunate that a small group of people use such tactics as Distorting information to provide propaganda against projects that will benefit Bowling Green, Warren County, and South Central Kentucky for decades to come.
Comment posted by Jay A on 8-Jan-2004 3:08AM CST
The important issue is whether conditions are similar at the Dishman Collapse and at the site of the proposed developments. Unfortunately, conditions are similar, and collapse is possible (and likely) and the Transpark site and along the route of the proposed I-66. Unfortunately the previous comments are all somewhat correct.

Danny Lewis: under the worse case scenario, I-66 could kill us all. A toxic spill at the wrong spot could carry contaminants under population centers. Past problems with gasoline fumes carried through karst conduits is well-known in Bowling Green.

Jeff Carlyle: I think the key issue is to develop wisely. Warren County in the past has ignored its karst problems. If this continues, it will lead to economic disaster and serious negative consequences to public health. For new projects, the county must find sustainable ways to live and build on karst.

Don S: Like it or not, Warren County is a terrible place to build. Developing on karst landscapes carries a larger than normal degree of uncertainty and risk. So, in fact, (1) WKU would have been better built on more stable ground with less potential for groundwater contamination. (2) the current airport (particularly its fuel storage facilities) should not have been built, and (3) Bowling Green likely would be much larger if it were not on karst. In the future, Bowling Green will find it harder to achieve public health standards in dealing with its stormwater and groundwater contamination issues. In the long run, Bowling Green's location on karst, probably will cause a furthered stifling of sustainable economic development.
Comment posted by Jeff Carlyle on 8-Jan-2004 5:15AM CST
Comment posted by Jay A on 8-Jan-2004 11:47PM CST

The Warren County Comprehensive Plan (Geology Summary) outlines past problems with contaminant transport, sinkhole collapse, karst flooding, and radon.

As far as building on karst, I'll provide a few recent ones. References relating to the risks of building on Warren County karst go back to the mid-1970's (when WKU's Center for Cave and Karst Studies was created).

I suggest reading the following references:

Beck, B. F. (2003). Sinkholes and the engineering and environmental impacts of karst : proceedings of the ninth multidisciplinary conference, September 6-10, 2003, Huntsville, Alabama. Reston, Va., American Society of Civil Engineers.

Gunn, J. (2003). Encyclopedia of caves and karst science. New York, Fitzroy Dearborn.

Sasowsky, I. D. and C. M. Wicks (2000). Groundwater flow and contaminant transport in carbonate aquifers. Rotterdam ; Brookfield, VT, A.A. Balkema.

Urban stormwater abatement regulations typically are policies of the EPA. Their website has a great deal of information. For instance, you might check out:


Which includes the Warren County and Mammoth Cave region's as an example.

Hope that helps,
Comment posted by Jeff Carlyle on 9-Jan-2004 2:18AM CST
I'll have to see if I can locate those, but I remain unconvinced that there are an extraoridinary problems that can not be addressed by a well designed economic and transportation facilities. There are much larger cities than Bowling Green that are built on karst regions.
Comment posted by Jay A. on 9-Jan-2004 3:04AM CST
Looks like the leap-of-faith depends on whether you believe new developments will be well-designed. For some, that design would be engineered to protect the environment, but for others it would mean that the financial opportunities at the site be maximized.

Larger cities do exist on karst, and they face similar large-scale consequences to poor planning (see the aforementioned references). Warren County and Bowling Green should be actively partnering with cities such as St. Louis and towns in Florida to find common solutions.

Like it or not, Bowling Green and other cities built on karst landscapes share extraordinary problems. I agree, though, that since people are going to live and work in karst areas, that financially-feasible, sustainable solutions must be found.

My concern for proposed developments in the Transpark vicinity is that the political nature of the situation has been so divisive that compromise is no longer feasible and good science is being ignored. Since both sides are in battle position, neither has credibility with the other. I personally believe that both sides have legitimate points, and getting both sides of the Transpark issue talking to each other about meaningful issues is crucial to the long-term economic and environmental health of the region.

Check out those references. Dr. Crawford at WKU could probably supply them if you're interested. Contact info can be found at: karst.wku.edu

Updated: 9-Jan-2004 3:04AM CST

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