Kentucky’s Bridge To Nowhere

Kentucky’s Bridge To Nowhere

Anyone that has been to Muir Valley in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge knows that it is an incredible area.  The amount of climbing offered there almost makes it feel like its own separate area when compared with the rest of the RRG.  However, proposed road improvements to a nearby highway could negatively impact future access to Muir Valley.

The State of Kentucky is currently considering several options to improve Highway 715 that runs along the northwestern edge of Muir Valley.  It unfortunately looks like many of the options under consideration would have a negative impact on future climbing in the area.  Here is a summary of the potential impact from an email that will be going out via Friends Of Muir Valley and the Access Fund:

Nine Alternatives – A through H, and X – are under consideration. Most of these Alternatives would have a negative impact on Muir Valley, as they would require the acquisition of a portion of Muir Valley land by eminent domain, possibly closing the emergency and maintenance road entrance to the Valley. Alternatives A, C, or X (do nothing) would have the least detrimental impact on Muir.  Alternate H (spot improvements) is dependent on where improvements are made.

Selection of either Alternatives E or F would have a disastrous impact on Muir Valley!  The very heart of the Preserve would be lost to eminent domain, and the Muir Valley owners would be compelled to permanently close Muir Valley to all recreational activities (including climbing) that are now freely provided to the general public. Attached is a map of Muir Valley with the study area shown overlaid in pink. The map shows over half of the climbs in Muir Valley lie in this area, which could be taken by eminent domain.

image_033

Below are the two most detrimental options that are under consideration.  The yellow area would be a new road, apparently directly over the top of Muir Valley.

Alternative E

Alternative E

Alternative F

Alternative F 

More details on why this project is being considered as well as how to contact the State in regard to this plan are available on the plan’s website.

Update 11/14/2008:  The owners of Muir Valley posted a thread at RedRiverClimbing.com with some more background on what is being done from their end of things.  I apologize to them if I jumped the gun with this news, however I felt as though it was important to get the word out on this issue before it was too late.  Despite the small number of whiners and complainers on message boards, there is a large community of people across the country who appreciate what they are doing.

Posted In: Access
Tags:
Areas: ,

Subscribe

Subscribe to the RSS feed to receive updates, and follow us on Twitter & Facebook

12 Responses to Kentucky’s Bridge To Nowhere

  1. gr8belayr November 13, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    So yah, not having offically climbed in the Red in like 3 years, I prolly don’t have much standing to comment on this but…

    I read this and went, “Oh man I really hope that this can be avoided, it really sucks, climbers finally get an area that is ‘safe’ and now it’s up for grabs again!” Once I settled down and started thinking rational again, I had a couple questions (that were not answered by the Kentucky website nor Muir Valley’s);

    Did any climbers or climbing org’s attend the meetings in October?

    The planning stuff indicates there is no funding and no proposed start date for this project. What is the possible expected start time?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  2. Narc November 13, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    I believe that they are trying to bring attention to this issue as most climbers didn’t really know anything about it in enough time to attend the first meeting.

    The owners of Muir Valley are working with the Access Fund and they have been in contact with the State of KY.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  3. gr8belayr November 13, 2008 at 3:11 pm #

    Seems like Kentucky politics as usual. Don’t tell the people it might affect – otherwise they might object too much. Even tho it is only a “climbing area” I wonder if they would be so quick to pave over it if they counted the actual ‘economic stimulus’ that climbers bring to the area in general.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  4. Narc November 13, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    The gist of the information I was sent is that locals would rather see someone else’s land besides their own impacted which makes Muir Valley an easier target.

    Something tells me the people living in the directly adjacent area would probably rather see climbers go away but the economic impact of climbers to the greater surrounding is obviously quite large.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  5. sock hands November 13, 2008 at 3:44 pm #

    i suppose in these unsteady times it would be inappropriate to make monkeywrench gang references

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  6. Chris November 13, 2008 at 5:56 pm #

    Getting some attention. Back and forth with redriverclimbing.com and climbingnarc.com.

    http://www.redriverclimbing.com/viewtopic.php?t=10903&sid=6147890b711d33d4f5b9b9335e495e5c

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  7. Chris November 13, 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    What can you do? Check this post:

    http://www.redriverclimbing.com/viewtopic.php?t=10904

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  8. Gretchen November 14, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    Why is Muir working with the Access Fund instead of the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition? I would think that the RRGCC would have a much stronger presence and relationship with KY. Odd

    On Topic, this is very unfortunate. One of the belief systems is you purchase land to secure climbing, then this really throws a monkey wrench into that equation.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  9. calvin November 15, 2008 at 9:00 am #

    Gretchen,

    From what I understand, there already is a Local Climbing Org for Muir called Friends of Muir Valley. It’s pretty active and its membership overlaps with the RRGCC. I’m sure the RRGCC is involved, but they primarily handle other areas, like the PMRP.

    Rick and Liz Weber are pretty proactive people, but would appreciate all the help we can give.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  10. PJ December 7, 2008 at 8:56 pm #

    I think in my six or seven trips to the Red this year, equating to 20 or so passes up and down 715, I probably saw 50 cars use this highway. Now hold on! I’m actually being very liberal it was more like 20 cars maybe. Why not just give this area the cash that they would blow on the road “improvements” and create jobs some other way. Hell I’d even go for a couple of those sci-fi looking windmills to produce electricity. Maybe a school for the town of Nada. I guess my question would be: “Until these roads are worn down, not to mention until there is anything representative of more than about 10 percent capacity usage, why not spend the money on something productive?” Just a thought while we have soup lines soon to form.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  11. Narc January 26, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Interesting to note the recent article in Climbing Magazine regarding this subject…

    GD Star Rating
    loading...

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Southeastern Climbers Coalition Needs Your Help! | Climbing Narcissist - November 24, 2008

    […] the heels of last week’s access alert in Kentucky comes another alert.  Unlike the well-known Red River Gorge’s Muir Valley, little is known […]

Leave a Reply