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Interstate for Columbus

Which Interstate for Columbus, GA   33 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Interstate would be most Economically Beneficial

    • I-14 - Augusta, GA to Natchez, MS
      5
    • I-185 Extension (Re-designate as I-81)
      17
    • I-22 Extension - Memphis, TN to Brunswick, GA
      5
    • I-16 Extension - Savannah, GA to Lubbock, TX
      6
  2. 2. Is a "Benning Bypass" Needed for the Metro-Area

    • Yes, it would open southern metro growth
      21
    • No, perimeter highways create sprawl
      12
  3. 3. Would I-185 be better terminated at Tallahassee, FL or at the Florida gulf coast

    • Tallahassee
      19
    • Gulf Coast
      12
    • Why stop there, create West FL Coast Highwy
      2
  4. 4. What group should promote a new Interstate?

    • The Chamber of Commerce
      8
    • The local Government(s)
      8
    • A group specifically formed to focus on new Interstate promotion
      10
    • Some combination of these
      29

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51 posts in this topic

Columbus currently has an Interstate Spur, I-185, that joins I-85 south of Atlanta, GA in Troup County, GA and terminates in Muscogee County at Fort Benning, GA south of Columbus, Ga. There are four reasonable possibilities for Columbus, GA to gain full Interstate access. Only I-14 has been officially proposed. The others have various interest groups promoting them. Given that most major industrial economic development announcements do involve locations with convenient Interstate access sited as a primary decisive factor, cast your vote for the Interstate that you think would be the most economically advantageous for Columbus.

I-14 (read more) - This new highway has been proposed in Congress and is undergoing a feasibility study. I-14 has officially been proposed to begin in Augusta, GA and end in Natchez, MS. However additional proposals promote beginning in South Carolina and ending in Texas.

I-185 Extension (read more) - an extension has long been discussed as a highway to Florida. Various interests seek to various termination points. This proposal seeks to extend I-81 from its current termination in Knoxville, TN to a termination point at the Florida gulf coast around Panama City, FL.

I-22 Extension (read more) - a new interstate from Memphis, TN currently terminates north of Birmingham, AL. Business groups seek to extend the highway east to Georgia's sea ports at Brunswick, GA, and possibly a second phase to extend the highway to the midwest, possibly at Kansas City.

I-16 Extension (read more) - The forgotten Interstate. Currently beginning at Savannah, GA and ending at Macon, GA. This interstate has potential to improve west/midwest access to international sea ports at Savannah. As of now, there are no known formal interest groups seeking extension of this highway, though this blog suggests extension to Lubbock, TX.

Benning Bypass (read more) - aka I-222, obviously wouldn't be an I-22 perimeter if I-22 weren't extended through Columbus, but the 222 does have a nice ring to it. If its I-214, or 216 or whatever, is there a need for a bypass highway around Fort Benning. With Benning's limited access since 9/11, there is even less access for Chattachoochee and Marion counties for absorbing Columbus' suburban growth, as arguments go. Instead, all growth goes in a sort of lop-sided pattern both north and west and is therefore pushing reasonable commute-time limits. Southern and eastern Interstate highway access might allow the growth to be more readily apportioned in a uniform ring around Columbus. Conversely, some urban planners argue that Interstates, much less perimeters, are the bane of urban revitalization by encouraging suburbs.

And a supplemental poll for I-185 extension. A new group in Albany, along with its chamber of commerce is promoting extending I-185 to Tallahassee. If I-185 is extended south, where should it go, which termiation would best benefit Columbus? Tallahassee? The Gulf Coast? Along Florida's west coast perhaps to Tampa or Orlando?

Finally, new Interstates are often promoted by non-profit organizations formed specifically to lobby and generate interest in the proposal. Sometimes, Chambers of Commerce lead the charge, sometimes by forming a special committee. At times, but not often, local governments lead efforts. In Columbus' political environment, how would new Interestates best be promoted?

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Great topic -- at least for Columbusites. Would it be greedy to say -- all of the above?!?!?

Here is what I think should happen and probably in this order

1. Extend I-16 from Macon, thru Columbus to connect with I-85 W @ Tuskeegee. That is only about 100 miles or so would have the great benefit of giving Savannah/Macon access to Montgomery and points west and vice versa. Ie, not only Columbus benefits.

2. Extend I-22 from B'Ham to Columbus and tie-in to existing JR Allen Bypass (which is already up to interstate standards) and existing Corridor Z to Brunswick (bring Corridor Z up to interstate standards) this could be the Ft Benning Bypass. However, it also benefits Brunswick, B'ham and Memphis.

3. I-14 from Augusta/Macon to Columbus to tie into 1 and 2 above. Again this benefits all three 2d-tier cities

4. I-185 S. extended to Tallahassee (with spur to Dothan and PC, Fla) AND extend I-185 N from LaGrange to tie-in to I 85 N @ Cartersville area. That would give traffic that is simply funneled thru Atlanta an alternative route south to Columbus where it could continue east to the Georgia coast or south to Fla panhandle or west to Montgomery. Also gives those traveling to Fla panhandle a viable (and SAFE) alternative to the current Hwy 431.

Shouuld probably recognize that these are likely pipe dreams until we get a DOT that is actually committed to addressing the ENTIRE state's traffic problems or until we luck up -- like Macon -- and elect a governor who is from this area!

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Thanks gah. Greedy...? maybe, but what the heck. Something should probably happen with I-16, but will it ever, and would the DOT point three more interstates toward Columbus, probably not, although Vance Smith from the Columbus ares is the current chair (and up for re-election by the way). And Columbus has had such a derth of Interstate access for half a century, it's probably way overdue.

I personally would prefer to use I-14 and/or I-22 as an opportunity to get northern and southern segments of a true Columbus metro perimeter that is also a bypass around Benning to get to the southern metro. Maybe an extended I-16 could use the Allen Bypass. And that extended on into Alabama and follow US80 west.

Regarding I-22, the extension east to Columbus is getting some discussion in Birmingham posts. That concept would benefit Birmingham as much if not more than Columbus. They have good access to Gulf ports in Mobile, adding access to Atlantic ports in Brunswick would really benefit them, it would seem.

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Thanks gah. Greedy...? maybe, but what the heck. Something should probably happen with I-16, but will it ever, and would the DOT point three more interstates toward Columbus, probably not, although Vance Smith from the Columbus ares is the current chair (and up for re-election by the way). And Columbus has had such a derth of Interstate access for half a century, it's probably way overdue.

I personally would prefer to use I-14 and/or I-22 as an opportunity to get northern and southern segments of a true Columbus metro perimeter that is also a bypass around Benning to get to the southern metro. Maybe an extended I-16 could use the Allen Bypass. And that extended on into Alabama and follow US80 west.

Regarding I-22, the extension east to Columbus is getting some discussion in Birmingham posts. That concept would benefit Birmingham as much if not more than Columbus. They have good access to Gulf ports in Mobile, adding access to Atlantic ports in Brunswick would really benefit them, it would seem.

Yes -- the "key" is not to appear greedy, but to make the case that adding all that interstate mileage would benefit the connected cities as much (or more) than Columbus itself. Get Ala/B'ham on board for extending I-22 for the reasons you cite. Get Savannah/Macon and Montgomery on board for extending I-16. Get Fla/Tallahassee and Albany on board for extending I-185. Its NOT just a "Columbus thing." Its a benefit to all surrounding states (and more) in that it opens up new routes for ALA, TENN, GC and FLA, as well as Augusta, Macon and Savannah.

I remain mystified why Columbus "powers that be" seem so blase about highway construction (ie, lack thereof). To my mind it is #'s 1,2 and 3 on that list of things that should be done -- YESTERDAY! The interstate system was designed and touted as a national defense tool. the idea that FT. Benning -- even before BRAC -- is so isolated is in explicable. The mayor, state and national representatives from the area, Chamber of Commerce, etc ALL should be screaming and beating the bushes for commitments for these connections. But as far as I can see, NOT ONE of them has the vision or intellect to get with the program. The local leaders may not be corrupt (though that is becoming increasingly debatable) but they sure seem to me to be pretty provincial and clueless.

vance was up to head DOT, but lost by one vote to Purdue's choice (I forget her name). I get teh impression that she is competent (unlike former DOT heads) and let us hope that she will be motivated by facts and needs rather than backroom political dealing (we can hope, cant we?)!

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Yea, from what I've heard in the media about her frustration with the procedures and project tracking, it sounds like she may be cracking the whip.

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Why Interstates are important in economic development recruiting and employment -

The State of Georgia has it as one of the top questions for their site selection search engine -

InterstatesPriority.gif

and this says it all...

DOTS-SiteSelect.gif

Columbus' leadership should wake up and put on a full court press for a full-fledged Interstate. Here's you some sugarplums for your dream Gah.

22-14-81_Combined.JPG

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This one definitely needs to go to Tallahassee (Metro 336,501). As one previously mentioned, the state of Alabama is already looking to extend a road south into the Panama City (Metro 163,505) area via Dothan, AL. Meanwhile there is no North-South Expressway serving Southwest GA, where there are thriving Agricultural, Food Processing, Lumber, and manufacturing industries. The location of this roadway into Florida's capital opens up Georgian access to the gulf of Mexico, and a much larger market of consumers more likely to trade if access to these Southern GA markets is opened up, not to mention allowing goods and services from the Capitol Region of Florida to travel north more smoothly, thereby enhancing the overall economic vitality of the entire region.

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The Georgia Department of Transportation is holding a meeting on April 10th at the plaza level of the Goverment Center for public input on the SWGAinterstate study. the study began in Febuary of '07 and is studying the impact and operational needs of interstates in southwestern Georgia. As well as accessibility to I-10,75, and 185 more information is avaliable at Southwest Georgia Interstate Study Website

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The Georgia Department of Transportation is holding a meeting on April 10th at the plaza level of the Goverment Center for public input on the SWGAinterstate study. the study began in Febuary of '07 and is studying the impact and operational needs of interstates in southwestern Georgia. As well as accessibility to I-10,75, and 185 more information is avaliable at Southwest Georgia Interstate Study Website

Interesting they included Columbus in the SW GA region. I think it's a little too north, but I hope something gets done about a possible new interstate!

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Interesting they included Columbus in the SW GA region. I think it's a little too north, but I hope something gets done about a possible new interstate!

You're right Altman. I figure they're angling to extend 185 (hopefully). Reading the survey responses, though, a non-interstate 'link' to an interstate would be acceptable to a majority of the respondants. Funny they cutoff the survey deadline before they got to Columbus... I was wondering though is this growing out of Albany's push to extend 185?

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I-22's connection to I-65 in Birmingham is about to get underway... Birmingham News article here. Though it's stalled for now, Toyota's Prius plant is going in Tupelo, MS along the new Interstate-22. Toyota didn't locate the plant there because of I-22, but the plant would not have located there had Tupelo not been along the new interstate's route... a lesson for Columbus I think...

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One more reason Interstates remain a critical tool for economic development - business and industry look for excellent transportation. I-22 is a brand new corridor opening a lot of development sites.

corridorx.jpg

Edited by aboutmetro

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The Feds have decided to budget money to look at the feasibility of I-14 and I-3. Nobody wants I-3. Many of us want I-14. But many more of us think I-22 would be a better improvement for Columbus and West GA and East AL.

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The Feds have decided to budget money to look at the feasibility of I-14 and I-3. Nobody wants I-3. Many of us want I-14. But many more of us think I-22 would be a better improvement for Columbus and West GA and East AL.

Hopefully I-22 and I-14 will happen! That would be huge for the Columbus metro area!

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One more reason Interstates remain a critical tool for economic development - business and industry look for excellent transportation. I-22 is a brand new corridor opening a lot of development sites.

But the question is - is there any demand for those new development sites? Just because you build it, doesn't mean they'll come.

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But the question is - is there any demand for those new development sites? Just because you build it, doesn't mean they'll come.

That's a very good question. No, obviously just building it won't bring economic development. Leadership will still need to market the area to potential corporate development. However, not building it will ensure those that need excellent transportation access will not come. A city and region need the other ingredients - the labor, the training, the economic incentives - all of which Columbus has.

Columbus has made it to short lists for years since Interstates first began being developed. And as textile mills were shuttered, replacement economic development (that didn't go to Atlanta) has gone to Macon, Opelika-Auburn recently and most obviously, to West Point. Every single tier 1 supplier is on the I-85 corridor. The key ingredient the Columbus area is missing is the excellent access.

Another example, Toyota chose a Tupelo Mississippi site for a new plant because U.S. 78 is being converted to I-22 between Birmingham and Memphis. When you look at that on a map, and you continue the line on its southeastern path, it runs right through Columbus on its way to the Georgia Coast. It's a natural perfect fit for us.

Edited by aboutmetro

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New public meetings scheduled -

Public Involvement Meetings

At 5 p.m.

clip_image002.jpg

1. Monday, November 2, 2009

Southwest Georgia Technical College - Sewell Building D 15689 US Highway 19 North Thomasville, GA 31792

(From US 19 heading south, proceed on US 19 through intersection with US 84 Bypass. College is on the right.)

2. Monday, November 9, 2009

Albany State University – L. Orene Hall 504 College Drive Albany, GA 31705

(From US 82 (East Oglethorpe Blvd.), turn south onto College Drive. Continue on College Drive straight until it ends. Turn right into the parking lot, then left into the parking lot.

L. Orene Hall is the last building straight ahead.)

3. Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chattahoochee County Middle and High School - Cafeteria 360 Highway 26 Cusseta, GA 31805

(From Columbus, travel south on US 27/SR 520 and take a left on SR 26. Travel 2-3 miles; School is on the right. From Albany, travel north on SR 520; take a right on SR 26.

Travel 2-3 miles; School is on the right.)

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New public meetings scheduled -

Public Involvement Meetings

At 5 p.m.

clip_image002.jpg

1. Monday, November 2, 2009

Southwest Georgia Technical College - Sewell Building D 15689 US Highway 19 North Thomasville, GA 31792

(From US 19 heading south, proceed on US 19 through intersection with US 84 Bypass. College is on the right.)

2. Monday, November 9, 2009

Albany State University – L. Orene Hall 504 College Drive Albany, GA 31705

(From US 82 (East Oglethorpe Blvd.), turn south onto College Drive. Continue on College Drive straight until it ends. Turn right into the parking lot, then left into the parking lot.

L. Orene Hall is the last building straight ahead.)

3. Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chattahoochee County Middle and High School - Cafeteria 360 Highway 26 Cusseta, GA 31805

(From Columbus, travel south on US 27/SR 520 and take a left on SR 26. Travel 2-3 miles; School is on the right. From Albany, travel north on SR 520; take a right on SR 26.

Travel 2-3 miles; School is on the right.)

Sadly, it appears the meeting is just window dressing, according to GDOT, the state is not recommending any new interstate access for south Georgia or Columbus based on existing and projected traffic demand.

"Presently, GDOT is studying the need for Interstate access within Southwest Georgia. Information on this study (Southwest Georgia Interstate Study) can be found on our website at: http://www.dot.ga.gov/informationcenter/programs/studies/Pages/southwestgeorgia.aspx. This study is near completion and we are not recommending the construction of additional Interstates in southwest Georgia-including the I-22 and I-81 proposal attached to your e-mail. This recommendation is based on existing and projected future traffic volumes plus a benefit to cost analysis which was completed."

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Gov Perdue is re-introducing his proposal to allow regions (based on Regional Commissions) to vote to levy a penny for regional transportation projects. Reported in Creative Loafing here. Presumably, these could be agreed upon inter-regional projects like new Interstates...

Georgia's Regional Commissions look like this -

georgia-transportation-districts-regions-2010.png

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Macon is trying to move the completion of the Fall Line Highway (freeway is a misnomer). They're suggesting the project go around the Ocmulgee National Park.

Fall%20line%20freeway_main.jpgGPB News story.

It's still sad that this wasn't the Interstate it was supposed to be. Though it is funny that the highway's going more in the location as first shown on the I-DOTS blog....

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I find it funny that this is the preferred route I myself drew on Google Earth a few years back - and I'm only 18 now. Why didn't any of the bigwigs in the DOT think of this before, if I did?

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