US Forest Service evaluating 65 miles of roadways in LBL

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Reporter - Mychaela Bruner
Photographer - David Dycus

LYON COUNTY, Ky. - Controversial decisions are on the table involving roads at Land Between the Lakes. The US Forest Service is evaluating roads at LBL as part of the 10-year nationwide assessment. The assessment is called "transportation analysis process", or TAP. This means 65 miles of existing LBL roadways are up for possible changes. These roadways are located in Trigg, Stewart and Lyon County.

It is up to the Forest Service to decide whether the roads are worth maintaining or closing. Roads that lead to a cemetery or that are maintained by the state of Kentucky or Tennessee will not be changed. Forest Service Consumer Manager Brian Beisel said evaluating the roadways is a normal procedure.

Beisel said, "It's an expensive endeavor. Forest Service is required to make this analysis. All units are required to make the analysis. But, Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade White said every road is used by somebody and the maintenance over the years has significantly decreased.

White said, "A lot of times when someone wants to visit a cemetery or have a burial, they have to call Forest Service and ask them to come and fix the road so they can at least get in. Funerals aren't planned, that's a problem.

White said the LBL roads are a place for tourists and they are also important to locals. "That's the beauty of LBL. That's why they come here. They get on these back roads that don't lead anywhere and get away from things. Why would you shut that off to people that enjoy that," said White.

Beisel said driving for pleasure is one of LBL's biggest activities and the decision relies heavily on the public's opinion. "We're just under discussion for a change. That means anything could happen from upgrading to closing," said Beisel.

White said the public needs to act now so these roads are not closed to drivers in the future. He also said roads are ranked from one to five. A 'five' would be a paved road and a 'one' would be an almost impassible road.

White is encouraging people who use the roads to speak up now. He said you can visit the old courthouse in Eddyville to write a comment about one of the roadways. In the courtroom, there is also a map that shows the roads being evaluated for change.

The Forest Service is also holding two informational meetings to discuss the roads that exist in that area and what maintenance is needed to keep them open. There will be two informational meetings to discuss the roads that exist in that area and what maintenance is needed to keep them open. The next meeting is this Friday in Stewart County, Tennessee at the Visitor Center. The following meeting will be July 30th at the Grand Rivers Senior and Community Center.

To view the full map of the Northern LBL roadways, click here.  To view the full map of the Southern LBL roadways, click here.

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