Right now, hundreds of trucks carrying potentially deadly cargo pass through the heart of downtown daily -- approximately half through I-65's infamous "Hospital Curve," which -- aside from being adjacent to some of Louisville's most critical health care facilities – is one of the more accident-prone stretches of the Interstate. A significant toxic spill in that area could not only endanger many thousands, but would likely take the city's only two top-level trauma centers – University Hospital and Kosair Children's Hospital -- out of play.
Requiring all hazmat trucks to pass around the center city would reduce the crippling effects of any such accident while also making such accidents less likely in the first place. Virtually all metro areas our size have already done so, and that includes Northern Kentucky, where hazmat trucks have been banned from I-75 approaching Cincinnati since last summer.
Diverting dangerous materials from the city center is just one of the many benefits that can be realized from the new East End Interstate route, and I urge all involved agencies to make it happen.