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Plan would add interstate from Augusta to Mississippi

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 11:36 AM
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 4:31 AM
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A federal report details plans for a possible new interstate that would move traffic from Augusta through central Georgia and Alabama to Natchez, Miss.

The study examined five cost options for an interstate route from Augusta to Natchez, Miss. A report on an interstate linking Savannah, Augusta, western North Carolina and Knoxville, Tenn., is expected soon.  STAFF
STAFF
The study examined five cost options for an interstate route from Augusta to Natchez, Miss. A report on an interstate linking Savannah, Augusta, western North Carolina and Knoxville, Tenn., is expected soon.

The 14th Amendment Highway Corridor report, obtained by The Augusta Chronicle, was delivered to Congress on Feb. 3, according to Federal Highway Administration spokesman Doug Hecox. A timeline for further action is unknown.

The report says the new east-west interstate would be more than 600 miles, linking Augusta and Natchez with three other metro areas: Montgomery in Alabama, and Columbus and Macon in Georgia.

A 100-mile segment beginning near Macon would connect to Augusta either at Interstate 20 near exit 183 or at Interstate 520 near Fort Gordon. To connect to I-20, a new highway would be built versus following existing roads through Milledgeville, Sandersville and Wrens to connect with I-520.

No funding for the federal route has been identified. The Federal Highway Administration launched the study to meet a congressional mandate.

A similar report on the 3rd Infantry Division Highway linking Savannah, Augusta, western North Carolina and Knoxville, Tenn., is expected soon. Both interstate routes were first proposed in 2004 by U.S. Rep. Max Burns and other legislators.

In an e-mail statement, Rep. John Barrow said Tuesday he would work to make the reports a reality.

“These interstates would create new transportation routes that avoid the over-congested Atlanta roads, and will be an economic boon for Augusta,” Barrow said.

The 14th Amendment Highway study examined five cost options for a route from Augusta to Natchez. The options ranged from about $296 million to $7.7 billion.

“Although several major Interstate highways pass through the corridor, they are all generally oriented in a north-south direction,” the report states. “There is no single designated east-west Interstate or other major highway that directly connects all five cities.”

Don Grantham, the Georgia Department of Transportation board member for Congressional District 10, said a route between Augusta and Columbus has long been on the minds of Georgians.

“It would be a tremendous asset for moving traffic east to west,” Grantham said.

Moving the proposal from a plan on paper to reality could be long off. Grantham said GDOT just learned of the study Tuesday, and while supportive, had no plans for action.

“I don’t see why our board or our governor’s office would object to it,” he said.

Paul DeCamp, the planning manager for Augusta-Richmond County, served on an expert committee that suggested alternate routes during the study. Economic development was a driving force behind the proposal, as was connecting military bases in Augusta, Warner Robins and Columbus.

“That was a key point in connecting all three communities; making the connections convenient or near each of those military facilities,” DeCamp said.

Associated Press reports contributed to this story.

Comments (29)

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Dixieman
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Dixieman 02/14/12 - 12:52 pm
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Yeah, okay, but we STILL need

Yeah, okay, but we STILL need I-3, the North-South Interstate from Savannah through Augusta to Knoxville!!

OJP
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OJP 02/14/12 - 12:57 pm
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@Dixieman: I agree! I'd like

@Dixieman: I agree! I'd like to see I-3 built before I-14 (but both would be great for Augusta's growth).

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/14/12 - 01:01 pm
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Charlie Norwood had I-3 all

Charlie Norwood had I-3 all set to go if y'all remember. Paul Broun said we didn't want it. He blocked the highway..

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/14/12 - 01:03 pm
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Let me ask you two questions.

Let me ask you two questions. How many times in the past year have you really wanted to go to Montgomery?

How many times in the past year have you really wanted to go to Natchez?

Jane18
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Jane18 02/14/12 - 01:26 pm
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My questions also, Little

My questions also, Little Lamb.

nothin2show4it
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nothin2show4it 02/14/12 - 02:03 pm
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I've really wanted to go to

Unpublished

I've really wanted to go to London. Does that mean people will consider putting an interstate to there from Augusta? It has a lot more to do will moving freight and military than local citizens needs.

REDRIDER
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REDRIDER 02/14/12 - 02:21 pm
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Although interstate are

Although interstate are mainly for moving goods and people. The Military is the main purpose of interstate for rapid deployment and evacuation routes for disasters. Connecting Augusta with Natchez is also could connect Charleston to the Mississippi River with out many exchanges.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 02/14/12 - 03:40 pm
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Places that are at the

Places that are at the intersection of major transportation routes grow and thrive. That is why, despite being on I-20, Augusta has not. We need the intersecting roads discussed here!

David Parker
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David Parker 02/14/12 - 03:58 pm
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Where are Willie, Waylon,

Where are Willie, Waylon, Kris, and Johnny when we really need them !!!

countyman
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countyman 02/14/12 - 04:49 pm
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Dixieman.. I think it depends

Dixieman.. I think it depends on what metro you're comparing Augusta against.. If you look at the latest Business Journals estimates.. Then metro Augusta will gain more people than the CSA's of Columbus, Savannah, and Macon.. The MSA will gain more people than metro Knoxville, Madison, Chattanooga, Syracuse, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Milwaukee, etc.. Metro Augusta will grow alot faster during 2010-2020 compared to the previous decade...

http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/on-numbers/scott-thomas/2012/01/p...

countyman
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countyman 02/14/12 - 04:52 pm
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I can't think of many

I can't think of many mid-size metros with Bridgestone, NSA, multi-use facility, Village at Riverwatch, Plant Vogtle, Rockwood, Marshall Square, new Walmart, 25 acre shopping center/10k sq. ft. Shoppes at Dyess Park, etc..

Don't forget the recession slowed down alot of development.. I'm sure the Carmax area(Wheeler Town Park) will begin to attract some of the retailers it had before(Gander Mountain, Northern Toole, etc)

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/14/12 - 07:06 pm
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I-3 would have been much more

I-3 would have been much more beneficial for Augusta as it linked up with I-20. This pie in the sky road will be nice, but no one reading this will see it in any case.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/14/12 - 07:43 pm
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I think I-3 would be nice

I think I-3 would be nice too...but you know a lot of N Ga folks don't want it...they say it would ruin their small country way of life...it would go right through some small towns.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/14/12 - 07:53 pm
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RM...whatta ya mean no one

RM...whatta ya mean no one reading this will see the highway.....are we dying off in the next few years?

walrus4ever
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walrus4ever 02/14/12 - 08:00 pm
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If N Georgia doesnt want I3

If N Georgia doesnt want I3 then build it up the SC side of the border, plenty of uncongested land. An interstate from Savannah thru Augusta to the I85 mega corridor would cause an investment explosion in Augusta. I85 between Atlanta and Charlotte is THE growth area of the next 50 yrs in this region.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/14/12 - 08:20 pm
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SeenIt, hahaha...hopefully

SeenIt, hahaha...hopefully not, but the "Airplane" thing is always a factor I consider.

Conservative Man
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Conservative Man 02/14/12 - 08:24 pm
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I'd much rather my tax

I'd much rather my tax dollars go towards an Interstate highway that I might use rather than a TEE Center that I"ll NEVER use....

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/14/12 - 08:41 pm
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CMan....what event/show/

CMan....what event/show/ could the tee center have that would interest you?...btw I feel the same as you do.

comet2u
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comet2u 02/14/12 - 08:46 pm
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Either way both interstates

Either way both interstates would be the best thing to come out of Augusta since James Brown and Lady Antebellum...

countyman
16787
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countyman 02/14/12 - 09:29 pm
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I doubt I-3 will be able to

I doubt I-3 will be able to cross through the mountains in North Georgia.. I think a more realistic approach would be either Clinton or Greenville South Carolina...

The I-520(widening, new bridges, etc) project finally begins in South Augusta tomorrow..

Pu239
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Pu239 02/14/12 - 10:08 pm
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Snowcone stand planned

Unpublished

Snowcone stand planned openning on 12/12/12

sand gnat
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sand gnat 02/15/12 - 03:24 am
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It will take a lot of years

It will take a lot of years before this will happen. First, the politicians on the inside will have to buy up the land so they can sell it to the state.

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 02/15/12 - 05:56 am
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Who in the world would want

Who in the world would want to go to Mississippi?
I kid of course. I was there last year. Went to Tupelo and saw the little box of a house that Elvis was born in. Also went to the gulf coast. Mighty nice!

nanowerx
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nanowerx 02/15/12 - 08:09 am
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Why we don't already have a

Why we don't already have a direct route to Savannah is beyond me. This has always seemed like the missing link in Georgia transportation. A well laid out state should always connect it's major cities. Augusta is in such a great geographical location, but it always feels like "one way in, one way out." I personally would take more trips to the beach and I am sure more people from Savannah would thus pass through Augusta going north instead of through Columbia. Win-win.

stillamazed
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stillamazed 02/15/12 - 08:54 am
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I love the idea, I for one

I love the idea, I for one travel that way often and I hate having to go up through Atlanta and cutting across. The interstate will save time and keep me off back roads when traveling to Columbus to see family and I agree that having it will bring people and revenue through the area.

Riverman1
70450
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 09:24 am
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I-3 would have been fantastic

I-3 would have been fantastic and have put us in the middle of the Knoxville to Savannah traffic. But Paul Broun squashed it to appease the North Georgia interests. SC has already said they don't have a need for an interstate through their country side on the alternate route and won't fund it through their state. Thus, nothing will happen.

stillamazed
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stillamazed 02/15/12 - 10:29 am
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I agree Riverman.

I agree Riverman.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 02/15/12 - 11:29 am
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I think that I shall live to

I think that I shall live to see
A road through town known as I-3
And if I am especially blessed
It will link with I-14 and all the rest.

Riverman1
70450
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 11:32 am
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Dixieman, if you do the

Dixieman, if you do the highway signs will be in Spanish.

lovingthesouth72
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lovingthesouth72 02/15/12 - 03:07 pm
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I bet Dr Azziz is in on this

I bet Dr Azziz is in on this one too. How else could we handle all the traffic of students, patients and researchers coming to study and do research at the newly merged ASU/GHSU/MCG enterprise! ;0)

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