HARDIN COUNTY, Ky. (WHAS11) – Ron Daughtery didn't know what to expect when he walked into the public meeting at Central Hardin High School Tuesday afternoon, but in his wildest dreams, he didn’t think it would be his house might be gone in a couple years.
"My brother-in-law caught me coming in as he was going out,” he explained, “and, um, he told me it was going, going through the house basically."
What may be going through Ron’s house is Ring Road, if one version of the extension plan comes to fruition.
"Right now, P34,” Ron said of what would be left. “A number, just a number."
That number is one of four preliminary alignments for the extension in Hardin County. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) held a meeting today to get input from the community as to what problems each alignment presents.
“When we look at these alignments we try to minimize the impact as much as possible,” KYTC spokesperson Patty Dunaway said. “Everybody that'll be impacted will be met with individually, what we call a Right –of-Way individual meeting, and that's when they'll be given the booklet that explains the process, how they'll be impacted, try to give them an idea of what the roadway would look like, that kind of thing.”
Dunaway also explained that if the road is going to cause residents to lose their homes, KYTC will help those folks out.
“Our Right-of-Way agents will meet with them, describe the relocation process. We have to follow the law basically, in order to buy the fair market value for their homes, to try to find them suitable housing, to go through all that process to make sure they are treated fairly.”
Some residents, like Nancy Elliott, say that while none of the alignments go through their property, there is still frustration.
“I bought 10 acres in the country,” she said. “I don't want a four lane divided highway coming within spitting distance to my property. I bought my property about in about 2002 or 2003, and there was no indication that a four-lane divided highway was coming through there.”
Elliott also believes the money being used to extend Ring Road should be put elsewhere.
“There’s no need in limited funds to build a new road through people’s property,” she said. “I think the money would be better spent on improving existing roads, getting our bridges so they’re not dangerous – there’s just no need!”
Then, there is Kevin Estes -- a farmer who is watching his future and livelihood get paved.
“To us farming is more than a hobby. It’s a way of income for our families,” he said. “You obviously can't put 30 cows across Ring Road. You can't move them from field to field across Ring Road. So that's going to be a concern: trying to get it from one side of the farm to the other.”
Patty says this is why KYTC has these meetings so they can hear different complications from the residents.
“We all live in this area as well and surrounding communities so it's personal to us too and we want to do right by everybody,” she said.
But right now for residents like Ron, the future looks bumpy.
“We've been there since 1982,” he said. “We moved in, in ’83. So, you know, count the years. That's a lifetime down there. You know, it is what it is."
The KYTC will be taking input and opinions for two weeks before compiling everything and beginning to sort through the information. If you missed Tuesday's meeting you still have time and there are ways to let your voice be heard.
You can call Brad Bottoms at (270) 766-5066 or email him at Bradley.Bottoms@ky.gov.
You can also access all the information online including the pamphlet that was distributed and the opinion form by clicking here.