An east-west connector is back on the table – this time farther north.
So far, the corridor would take a somewhat straight line east from the Adairsville/Calhoun area on I-75, (DOT Commissioner Harold) Linnenkohl said. It would hit “somewhere along Ga. 400 near Cumming.” He said then the challenge is to get it around Lake Lanier to get to I-85.
Another option in the background is letting private companies find a route acceptable to the state that the companies are willing to finance, to be repaid through tolls.
Though all funding options are on the table, as a practical matter the state can’t build it with gas taxes.
“We don’t have the money to build an east-west connector,” said Board Chairman Mike Evans, who thinks the project is crucial. “So it falls right into a category, in my opinion, of perfect” for some form of private investment and tolls.
In my view, the problem with the old Northern Arc was the DOT waited too long. By the time they were ready to get started, neighborhoods surrounded the proposed path. Most folks don’t want a freeway in their backyard. If the DOT really wants to do an east-west connected (which I say is needed) then let’s get started sooner rather than later.
Oh, and I love the idea of a public-private partnership to build this beast.