UPDATE: Blighted “historic” estate purchased by taxpayers now on the market for a huge loss ($300+ million tunnels not included in the acquisition)
We The People are spending more than $300 million extra on the east end bridge project to pay for tunnels to go under property adjacent to one home.
“Nobody in my family cared, as long as my grandmother didn’t have to be forcibly removed from her home twice for interstates,” Camp emailed.
Mary Peabody Fitzhugh’s family was displaced from the Cherokee Park area in the 1960s to make way for Interstate 64 cutting through the area around the Cochran Hill Tunnels. Her family was given the Drumanard Estate land where eventually the Jefferson Freeway (now Gene Snyder Freeway) was built. Its end point is, ironically, the launch point for the connector to the east end bridge.
Henry Camp continues: “What a coincidence. We didn’t feel that was fair for her. But she’s been gone for 18 years! (Tunneling under Drumanard in 2016) is a case of government bureaucracy costing the tax payers 100’s of millions. There is nobody even enjoying the place. You can’t drive up there. A guard will come and tell you to go away. So, nobody can enjoy the gardens. Do you think the government is maintaining the Olmstead gardens? No way. The whole place is being allowed to fall apart. That will continue until it is uneconomical to repair, then they’ll steal more tax payer money to ‘save’ it.”
Since the home has been in the hands of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, some scumbaggery has ensued.
The most outrageous part of the bridge approach path can be seen from aerial photos. The Drumanard Estate is not in the actual approach path of potential ramps leading to the forthcoming bridge. The tunnels are now being completed under the questionably historic home’s backyard to avoid disturbing this “iconic home.”
Here are Google map photos of the tunnel entrance and exit points where the home is clearly out of the line of construction.
Ground-based photos below show the construction status of one tunnel exit and the approach ramp that are promised to be ready in four months.
Forget that noise about how the east end bridge will relieve the downtown corridor of gridlock. Because the tunnels were built, there is no direct access to or exit from the bridge onto U.S. 42, a major artery. This will cause excessive crawl back toward Ky. 22 to find entry points for the new bridge. Plus, trucks carrying hazardous materials have limitations in the use of certain tunnels, likely maintaining current routes through densely populated downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Follow the money. Someone or a group of people got rich off of the extra $300+ million put in play to burrow under one property while other neighbors were stuck with above ground infrastructure.
But the Drumanard is for sale! Good luck sleeping with a rumbling tunnel underneath the yard.
Mr. Camp summed it up best: “The whole thing is stupid to the extreme.”