Despite $1 billion in budget cuts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida's 2020-21 budget still includes $90 million for this boondoggle, which could threaten the endangered Florida panther with extinction.
The project would also lead to more driving and more pollution. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet found that the project is likely to increase the number of vehicles traveling in the area by thousands of trips per day.
America was already faced with the need to make critical transportation investments. And then COVID-19 hit, upending travel patterns and undercutting the traditional sources of government transportation revenue.
Americans shouldn't have to choose between building endless new highway miles and endlessly fixing the roads that destroy our places — because there are a lot of highways that deserve to be decommissioned.
Officials have pointed to safety as a key reason for the need to expand the highway. Yet, in 2010, state officials raised speed limits to 70 mph along much of I-81, a move that likely made the road more dangerous.