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Two New Interstates for GA?

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Highway idea may be boon for state

Lawmakers push 2 new interstates

By JAMES SALZER

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 07/23/04

Members of Georgia's congressional delegation are spearheading an effort to create two new interstate highways through the state, including one that could divert some truck traffic away from metro Atlanta.

Six U.S. House members from Georgia have introduced legislation authored by Rep. Max Burns (R-Ga.) asking the federal Department of Transportation to look into developing two interstates, one running from Savannah to Augusta to Knoxville, Tenn., and another from Augusta to Macon to Columbus and west to the Mississippi River. Companion legislation was filed in the Senate by Zell Miller (D-Ga.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.).

The new interstates would likely follow freeways already under construction at least part of the way. For instance, I-3 along the Savannah River could follow the largely completed Savannah River Parkway. I-14 would likely follow the Fall Line Freeway. About three-fourths of the Fall Line Freeway from Columbus to Macon to Augusta is complete or under construction. State officials said $264.3 million was needed to complete the freeway.

Turning those roads into interstates would create freeways with more limited access.

Burns said the interstates could help spur economic growth in some of the state's poorest counties, such as those in the historic Black Belt region. "We're looking at neglected areas of our state and our region," said Burns, whose district includes the rural counties between Savannah, Augusta and Athens.

Burns said most economic development typically occurs within about 10 miles of an interstate. But much of the Black Belt is covered with rural roads.

New interstates would open up those areas for growth, would tie together military bases such as Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Fort Gordon in Augusta and Fort Benning in Columbus, and provide truckers coming south on I-75 and I-85 with an alternate route to Georgia's ports and coast.

That could relieve at least some truck traffic on metro Atlanta's freeways, though it's unclear how much.

The interstates would take a decade or more to develop, if approved. Burns doesn't know how much they would cost. That would be included in the DOT study.

Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), a co-sponsor of the Burns bill, said his first priority was getting the Fall Line Freeway completed. "It would be a huge mistake to delay at all the Fall Line Freeway while we wait to see if this could wind up being an interstate," said Marshall, who hails from Macon, the highway's midpoint.

Marshall noted that Burns faces a tough re-election battle this fall against Athens lawyer John Barrow. "Around campaign time, people come out with all kinds of good ideas," Marshall said.

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That sounds like a good plan to help these areas. I have family that live in South Georgia, so I travel through these area alot. I think that this would help tremendously. An interstate from Greenville to Augusta to Tallahassee would help alot too.

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Being an Augustan for 18 yrs, with family still there, I can vouch for the usefulness of at least the southern I-3 route. Getting from the metro of 510,000+ people to I-95 South is a complete nightmare, with tiny, windy roads full of huge trucks, and small town speed traps (all of my lifetime tickets occurred in this 100 mile rural stretch). The E-W route would probably best serve Columbus, which seems to have an unfortunate lack of freeway access. I think the northern I-3 route would be best passing through the Greenville MSA, but I suppose US-25 still serves its purpose of connecting Greenville and Augusta pretty well...

If I were in charge in the Augusta region, I'd definately push the southern I-3 route, but would probably prefer some local projects before these others... I'd love to see US-1 from DT Aiken to DT Augusta be converted to freeway grade while its still sparsely developed... but I'll keep dreaming...

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I'd love to see US-1 from DT Aiken to DT Augusta be converted to freeway grade while its still sparsely developed... but I'll keep dreaming...

This is one of the weirdest growth patterns in SC for sure. The area is growing more along that route than along I-20, which is suprisingly undeveloped for a city as large as Augusta.

And Aiken is gorwing more towards the Savannah River Site than towards I-20, which shows how important the SRS is to that area. (I think the SRS is actually a National Laboratory now... or maybe that happened yet)

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This is one of the weirdest growth patterns in SC for sure. The area is growing more along that route than along I-20, which is suprisingly undeveloped for a city as large as Augusta.

And Aiken is gorwing more towards the Savannah River Site than towards I-20, which shows how important the SRS is to that area. (I think the SRS is actually a National Laboratory now... or maybe that happened yet)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It would be nice to see Interstate 14 extended to Charleston, or for that matter extend Interstate 22 from the planned Birmingham terminus to Charleston.

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Uh is anybody realizing that I-3 belongs on the WEST COAST with I-5? the east coast N-S interstates begin with I-95 go on to I-77 then I-75 in the Mississippi valley go to I-55 etc.

I know these Interstates are losing there numbering system (I-99 WEST of I-95 in Pa!) but I-3 in Georgia when it really should be skirting the Pacific Ocean or in Hawaii is a little too weird.

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Uh is anybody realizing that I-3 belongs on the WEST COAST with I-5? the east coast N-S interstates begin with I-95 go on to I-77 then I-75 in the Mississippi valley go to I-55 etc.

I know these Interstates are losing there numbering system (I-99 WEST of I-95 in Pa!) but I-3 in Georgia when it really should be skirting the Pacific Ocean or in Hawaii is a little too weird.

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I don't believe there are any other high odd numbers left.

I'm not from Georgia, but I'd rather see the states spend some of the money on intercity rail service and use the rest for deficit reduction- building these roads will cost billions of dollars. Roads are not the be-all, end-all solution to our problems and it's high time more of the higher-ups realized that.

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agree, i'd like to see more emphasis on mass transit, however looking at the map i do like the route of proposed I-3 especially along the Savannah river basin, why not just make it a three digit spur like the one currently to columbus and shorten it to only between Atlanta and Savannah, for us numbering purists that would make a little more sense ;)

The other interstate I see some benefit from macon to columbus maybe to Augusta but along with the last post I agree the emphasis shouldnt be expanding them outside of some of the underserved corridors Macon to columbus and the S River basin.

Interested on hearing more about this ;)

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Half of the reason for the new interstates is that they don't go through Atlanta. They are intended to spur growth in areas not currently served by an interstate highway, as well as provide transportation options (i.e. trucking industry) alternatives to the high congested Atlanta area.

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A new interstate for Columbus would be great. It is the second largest metro in GA that doesn't have a major interstate. The state should expand I-185 (which connects Columbus to Atlanta via I-85) south of Columbus to I-10 in Florida. Great news for GA especially the Columbus metro area.

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An interstate from Augusta to Macon to Columbus to Montgomery, AL makes a lot of sense. Three of Georgia's five biggest metro areas are not connected by an interstate highway. They should be and continuing it on to Montgomery, AL, where it can link up with I-65 makes sense. The Savannah to Augusta interstate isn't needed IMHO.

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A new interstate for Columbus would be great. It is the second largest metro in GA that doesn't have a major interstate. The state should expand I-185 (which connects Columbus to Atlanta via I-85) south of Columbus to I-10 in Florida. Great news for GA especially the Columbus metro area.

This is also a good idea, because the Florida Panhandle is growing like crazy with vacationers and year long residents. The only way to get there from Northern Georgia is by interstate to Columbus and then back roads through southern Alabama. The interstate that shoots off I-85 and goes to Columbus, GA, should be extended through Columbus and continue down to I-10.

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I agree with the call for more mass transit. Let's end Americans' reliance on the automobile. If train service was better I would take the train on road trips instead of the car, but the entire country will have to commit to this in order for it to happen. If we ever have a visionary president, this is an issue I can hang my hat on.

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I can agree with wanting more mass transit. :thumbsup:

I really wonder what the interstate proposal going from Knoxville to Savannah is supposed to mean. There are some very beautiful areas of NC and GA that would probably be engulfed in development (i.e. urban sprawl) after people begin traveling it more heavily. That would be terribly disturbing to me, since I love going to the mountains to get away from urban sprawl once in a while. :)

On the other hand, I can see how truckers may like another access through the Appalachain mountains when I-40 is closed for some reason.

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I don't see the NCDOT spending any funds for Hwy 3, not to mention environmentalists going crazy over another highway in the mountains, so it most likely won't get built.

BTW, the NC portion would not doubt be the most expensive part of the highway to build.

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This is also a good idea, because the Florida Panhandle is growing like crazy with vacationers and year long residents.  The only way to get there from Northern Georgia is by interstate to Columbus and then back roads through southern Alabama.  The interstate that shoots off I-85 and goes to Columbus, GA, should be extended through Columbus and continue down to I-10.

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I agree that I-185 that goes through Columbus should be extended to I-10. Many people go through Columbus on their way to the Gulf Coast. The highway that people take is U.S. 431. It is on the Alabama side. It is in the process of being 4-laned from the Columbus/Phenix City area to the Gulf Coast. Most of the highway has already been widened. The highway was voted one of the most dangerous in America. Hopefully in the next year or two it will be completed.

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The highway that people take is U.S. 431. It is on the Alabama side. It is in the process of being 4-laned from the Columbus/Phenix City area to the Gulf Coast. Most of the highway has already been widened. The highway was voted one of the most dangerous in America. Hopefully in the next year or two it will be completed.

That's good news. I believe that metro Atlantans make up a very high percentage of visitors to the panhandle beach towns.

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A new interstate for Columbus would be great. It is the second largest metro in GA that doesn't have a major interstate. The state should expand I-185 (which connects Columbus to Atlanta via I-85) south of Columbus to I-10 in Florida. Great news for GA especially the Columbus metro area.

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I'm a big advocate of mass transit, but the proposed interstates are more for easier connections between major highways. I-3 (It'll never be name that, it'll eith be a spur off of I-95/I-20 or be an extention of I-81) but I'm think in the end it wil lend up being a GA multiple lane highway.

I-14 portion of GA (locally reffered to as the Fall Line Freeway) has been talked about forever. Considering that the only GA's DOT can do is build roads, I'm stupified as to why this one doesn't exsist.

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I believe that extending I-185 from Columbus to somewhere around Destin/Panama City in the panhandle of Florida would be the single most useful new road in the state outside of Metro Atlanta. There is ZERO drawback to this happening... and honestly, there is ZERO drawback to this happening if the road runs through Alabama, too. It's such a good idea that I can't believe that I've never thought of it before. LOL

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I believe that extending I-185 from Columbus to somewhere around Destin/Panama City in the panhandle of Florida would be the single most useful new road in the state outside of Metro Atlanta.  There is ZERO drawback to this happening...  and honestly, there is ZERO drawback to this happening if the road runs through Alabama, too.  It's such a good idea that I can't believe that I've never thought of it before.  LOL

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I have heard of plans of extending I-185 to I-10. It is at least 25 years away though unfortunately. Where I-185 stops at Fort Benning, the highway that goes to Albany, GA is already 4-laned the whole way. Also, GA DOT is 4-laning U.S. 27 down to FL. These are two possible options to take I-185 on down to I-10. U.S. 431 that passes through the Columbus metro area on the Alabama side is now finishing up its 4-lane construction. That will make U.S. 431 4-laned all of the way from Columbus to Panama City. That highway is considered one of the most dangerous in America. That is why they are working fast to get the highway completed.

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We don't need any new sprawl corridors, we have enough of those already. I hope all these new interstate proposals die and stay dead.

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We don't need any new sprawl corridors, we have enough of those already.  I hope all these new interstate proposals die and stay dead.

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I think areas outside of metro Atl can use all the sprawl (i.e. growth and economic development) they can get. Most of the areas where these roads would go are small enough that sprawl won't be a major issue and we need other areas of the state to kick up their growth.

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