Government

More News | | | Editor

Study finds interstate connecting Augusta to Savannah and Knoxville not feasible

Sunday, March 4, 2012 3:42 PM
Last updated 10:54 PM
  • Follow Government

A federal report detailing a proposed interstate connecting Augusta to Savannah, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn., says several suggested routes aren’t feasible because of detrimental effects on mountainous terrain and protected wilderness areas.

The study on the 3rd Infantry Division Highway found “fatal flaws” in three possible corridors, including the one route that passes most directly through Augusta. Because of environmental concerns and opposition from residents of north Georgia mountain counties, the study did not proceed with cost analysis of the routes.

The only complete route studied further runs west of Augusta and east of Athens, Ga. Two alternate branches were suggested for the northern portion of that route — one skirting the western boundaries of the Chattahoochee National Forest and the other crossing through the national forest north of Dahlonega, Ga.

The 435-mile interstate route is projected to cost $4.8 billion.

The Federal Highway Administration launched the study to meet a congressional mandate. Another study delivered to Congress on Feb. 3 was done concurrently on the 14th Amendment Highway to move traffic from Augusta through central Georgia and Alabama to Natchez, Miss.

Both interstate routes were first proposed in 2004 by U.S. Rep. Max Burns and other legislators with the original purpose of connecting military bases and enhancing economic development, especially tourism, to Georgia, North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains.

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.

Don Grantham, the Georgia Department of Transportation board member for the 10th Congressional District, agreed that the 3rd Infantry Highway is not feasible.

“I just don’t see that happening. The conceptual idea might be great, but I don’t think the funding is there,” he said Friday.

Major improvements to U.S. Highway 17 through eastern Georgia from Toccoa to Washington to Wrens and U.S. Highway 25 connecting Augusta, Waynesboro and Statesboro are improving existing traffic arteries, Grantham said.

“That’s going to be a much better artery for the mountain region to Savannah,” he said. “We’re going to see better routes for trucks to come in and out of Savannah based on the port of Savannah and the improvements being made there.”

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
nothin2show4it
120
Points
nothin2show4it 03/05/12 - 06:21 am
3
4
Your Federal dollars at work.
Unpublished

Your Federal dollars at work. Heaven forbid that it would improve the economy and people would actually be able to get jobs. No, it is better to keep people dependent on the government.

Dixieman
15006
Points
Dixieman 03/05/12 - 10:22 am
1
1
All you need to lay it out is

All you need to lay it out is a map and a ruler. Draw a straight line between Savannah and Knoxville and get 'er done.

Little Lamb
46059
Points
Little Lamb 03/05/12 - 10:37 am
1
2
There are better uses of

There are better uses of highway money than these new interstates. Let's improve and widen the roads we have now.

allhans
23685
Points
allhans 03/05/12 - 10:44 am
1
0
Pass through Augusta? Did we

Pass through Augusta? Did we actually think it might.
The people of Augusta should be used to this stuff by now.

august1
0
Points
august1 03/05/12 - 11:41 am
0
0
Thanks for nothing

Thanks for nothing Grantham......improvements to existing roads?? Yeah, lets not fight to propel GA into the future. Well looks like nobody is going to fight for this one..... @allhans, you're right, silly me....

x58dav8r
112
Points
x58dav8r 03/05/12 - 04:20 pm
0
0
There's already two

There's already two interstate routes from Savannah to Knoxville, but neither go through Augusta. However, there is an interstate link from Augusta to both of those routes.

Little Lamb
46059
Points
Little Lamb 03/05/12 - 04:25 pm
0
0
Thank you, x58. I was

Thank you, x58. I was thinking that earlier this morning, but I'm glad you posted it.

Riverman1
84141
Points
Riverman1 03/05/12 - 06:52 pm
0
0
If we waited on an honest

If we waited on an honest "study" to approve an interstate none would ever be built. Routes are always expensive. How much do you think one up north costs?

The North Georgia interests have lobbyied long and hard to kill this highway. This highway and the other proposed one that would end here would put Augusta on the highway map bigtime.

Frank I
1191
Points
Frank I 03/05/12 - 10:02 pm
0
0
I'm a Genius, expand US-25 to

I'm a Genius, expand US-25 to handle interstate traffic from Savannah to Asheville, NC.. this would create a more direct interstate route (I-16, "I-3", I-40) than the current option and would increase/include traffic through Augusta as well as Greenville/Spartanburg

Riverman1
84141
Points
Riverman1 03/05/12 - 10:06 pm
0
0
No discussion of this highway

No discussion of this highway is complete without noting Rep. Paul Broun told Congress we didn't want it. After that, what do you think the study would say?

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs