New VA medical center study shows traffic concerns near proposed - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New VA medical center study shows traffic concerns near proposed east end site

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has completed the draft of a study aimed at measuring the environmental impacts of a new medical center.

The current Robley Rex VA Medical Center is inadequate for future needs, according to the VA.

Right now, the current plan is to move the VA medical to a site on Brownsboro Road near the I-264 interchange. However, the plan has been met with opposition from neighbors at every turn.

“We're not against the veterans,” said one person who lives near the planned Brownsboro site. “We're against building a monstrosity where it shouldn't be.”

The newly-released draft environmental impact statement for a new Robley Rex VA Medical Center finds neighbors would hear and feel “adverse” noise and vibrations from construction. However, the biggest issue the study finds would be the possible impact on traffic, which neighbors say is the biggest problem.

“The citizens of Louisville don't want it here,” one neighbor said. “Particularly those of us who have to deal with the traffic, and people who drive by there have said that is the stupidest idea they’ve ever heard of.”

The Brownsboro site was purchased back in 2012 for $12.9 million. However, it was discovered by the inspector general that the VA overpaid for the property by as much as $3 million.

An alternative location near the interchange of Factory Lane and I-265 was also considered, but that is not a viable option as the property is no longer for sale.

A number of public meetings were held since the plan was first announced, but residents nearby say they still don’t feel like their concerns are being heard.

“They're not listening,” a neighbor said. “They won't consider alternatives, and we've offered alternatives and viable alternatives.”

The study goes on to say that some of those traffic issues would be mitigated with a new intersection at the planned main entrance, along with improvements to the I-264 and Brownsboro Road interchange.

The study also says “no long-term adverse effects to property values or local crime rates are expected” during construction or operation of the hospital.

A schedule in the study says construction would be completed in late 2022 with no delays.

In a statement U.S. Representative (D) John Yarmuth said:

“I’m glad the Department of Veterans Affairs listened to Louisville residents and took these additional steps to do a full environmental impact study for the new hospital. My two most important priorities since the start of this project have been ensuring that our veterans will have access to this new state-of-the-art hospital as quickly as possible, while making sure that the legitimate concerns of local residents are fully considered. I urge all local veterans, community leaders, and residents to take advantage of the 45-day public comment period to ask questions and weigh in on the project. I'm pleased that the VA is finally moving forward with the Brownsboro Road site and believe the public comments should be fully considered to see if any improvements can be made to the project or process.”

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