The Path of Least Resistance

Do we really need another interstate? Seriously?

This I-3 proposal strikes me as a campaign idea (which it was!) that lingered on well past the time its champion was voted out of office. Maybe we should let it die now.

Interstate 3, a proposed highway that would link Savannah with Knoxville, Tenn., by way of east Georgia, has worried some residents of north Georgia mountain towns since it was proposed in 2004.

But opponents of I-3 now have hope that a new route won’t pave over a swath of Northeast Georgia mountains.

The board of directors of the Stop I-3 Coalition, a nonprofit group that formed to fight the proposed route through the southern Appalachians, will meet Friday to discuss a possible design that would take the interstate north through Greenville, S.C., instead of through the north Georgia mountains.

It looks like we have the I-16 to I-75 corridor for Savannah already, not to mention the very heavily traveled i-95 to I-77 corridor. I’m sure a straight shot between Savannah and Augusta would be really helpful, but do we need to go carving up more of the state with an interstate?


  1. drjay says:

    as someone who has driven back and to from augusta to sav’h more times than i care to count–a limimted access interstate type highway between the two would be awesome–also i never understood why knoxville was the planned northern terminus of i-3 (or why it was i-3, i thought interstate numbers got higher as you traveled from west to east) but as the port continues to grow whatever inland city is or can become a sound logistical distribution center for various shipped goods (greenville seems a logical choice) should be linked to sav’h and charleston by interstate to facillitate the process (i think greenville is already insterstated to charleston –i know sav’h is also kinda–but i am talking a straighter shot than up and over on 95 and 26) i am generally in favor of the “new interstate”

  2. Bill Simon says:

    Well, Dr Jay, it shouldn’t be up to locals like you who may or may not receive the most benefit from such a decision to build the road. It should be left up to politicians who live far away and can only be influenced by well-paid lobbyists.

  3. Demonbeck says:

    I-3 was named in honor of the 3rd ID at Fort Stewart.

    And it is necessary for a number of reasons. including cutting down on traffic through Atlanta’s congested interstates.

  4. Goldwater Conservative says:

    Thats right Demonbeck…because we all know that the Atlanta rush hour traffic in Savanahh is killer!

  5. RuralDem says:

    Goldwater Conservative,

    Thanks for almost ruining my new laptop.

    Luckily I was only picking up the coke can and was not drinking any yet or else I would be very upset right now.

  6. Doug Deal says:

    Erick, as always, has his Atlanta – I-75 centered view of the state.

    My wife’s family live in the areas between Augusta and Savannah, and that area is basically no man’s land when it comes to getting there.

    Demonbeck is right when he mentions Atlanta’s congested traffic. The way the roads were designed in this state, everyone pretty much has to pass through Atlanta to get anywhere, unless you can reach it with I-95. When I lived in Northern Gwinnett, I had to come way down I-85 to get to I-285 to go over to I-75, just to head north again to get to Knoxville on my way to Cincinnati. With this new road, one could take 85-N and cut over to Knoxville and greatly reduce the trip, and avoid the perimeter entirely.

  7. Demonbeck says:

    Imagine folks driving north from south of Atlanta to parts north of Atlanta. This Interstate would give them the option of bypassing Atlanta traffic completely and thereby reducing the burden on Atlanta’s overburdened roads.

    Again, this was just one justification for the need.

  8. Goldwater Conservative says:

    We really need a “sky-way.” Everything is getting paved…what do you think deer and bears will look like when they mutate from an urban environment? ManBearPig?!

  9. jsm says:

    I know people who drive from Gainesville to I-285 and back up I-75 to get to Knoxville. It seems stupid, but the drive time to I-75 from Northeast GA is the same via Atlanta as it is via the podunk east-west routes.

    On the other hand, I drove the 441 corridor to I-40 en route to Morristown, TN, last October, and the drive was much shorter than I expected. Recent road construction has made that trip much easier, and current construction, once finished, will further ease the commute.

    US441 is driving a lot of development in NE Ga, and if I-3 runs through Greenville to Knoxville, Western SC will also see drastic changes through development.

  10. Painterman says:

    Build it! and build a corridor from I-20 at Villa Rica to I-75 in Cartersville while your at it. I’m sick and tired of having to go to Atlanta to get anywhere else. If you really want to help Atlanta traffic, stop making people who don’t even want to be there, have to drive through.

  11. Goldwater Conservative says:

    I have a home in Gainesville that I stay at from autumn through the beginning of spring. The mountains and forest are my concern…not because I am a tree hugging environmentalist. I am an avid hiker and a hunter. That is why I bought a home in North Eastern GA.

    Ten years ago you could go out to Vogel State Park and camp on Coosa Bald or Slaughter Mountain. The chattahochee national forest at one time (not long ago) had more diversity per square acre than anywhere else on the continent. Now when you make that same hike you can hardly see the stars, and the only wild life you see are rodents. This is just one example…getting up into the Blue Ridge Forests the issue is becoming much more prevalent. The problem is not the loss of trees or wild life…to many it is…but what we are losing is a great part of the American tradition. I do not want to go to some hunting or hiking reserve where animals are brought in for people to hunt in a fenced in property…that is unsportsman-like. Same for hiking, camping, and fishing. I do not care if Vulcan industries loses a few million dollars because they are prohibited from lopping the tops of the appalachian mountains. Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. It is a moral issue that dollars and cents should not be tied to.

    Going down 985 to 85 to get to 285 and arrive at 75 is, well…retarded. It is much faster to take 369 to 20 and get on 75.

  12. Listen, if you’re against the I-3, you’re against honoring the brave men and women of the Third Infantry Division. Love the troops, love this proposed highway. It’s that simple.

  13. Goldwater Conservative says:

    Andisheh Nouraee,…that is the stupidest thing I have heard anybody say in a while. What is with people in this country and trifle monuments? You name bridges and park benches and roads and fountains in the honor and memory of “Name Here.” Why? It is extremely shallow. If you want to honor somebody why not create a charity or foundation that furthers their cause. If you want to build something have a local artist make a sculpture of a large obelisk with relevant symbolic decoration. But a road? Come on.

  14. Bill Simon says:

    Goldwater Conservative,

    Erick should revoke your posting privileges. You are NOTHING like Goldwater, conservative or otherwise.

    Andish was making one heckuva sarcasm-laced post, and you gotta ruin the mood by thinking he was dead serious about it.

  15. Ms_midtown says:

    Easy compromise
    Split the project
    1. We build I-3 – Augusta -> Savannah
    2. Take the remaining money and make a feeder in west Atlanta from I-75 to I-20 and another from I-85 to I-20 in east Atlanta
    ( gets 5 axels off north 285 )

  16. GodHatesTrash says:

    ManBearPig – well, Goobernoor Sonny Perdoofus fits the bill, ‘ceptin’ he’s about four parts pig…

    Goldwater conservatives are supposed to be smarter than regular dumbas-s Georgia kkkonservatives, but, alas, it looks like they are stupid humorless fools too…

  17. Goldwater Conservative says:

    Oh darn..GHT…I did not pick up on sarcasm. I’m old…that was not humor for most of my life. Who are you to call anybody stupid. I rarely post on this site…I read it just to see how out of touch with reality the ideologues of this state really are…and you are probably at the top of that list.

  18. Still Looking says:

    With a moniker of “Goldwater Conservative” there is no chance you are an ideologue. But I do admire your environmentalist pov.

  19. Holly says:

    There’s been a suggestion for a good while that I-3 end at I-85 to appease the 100 or so folks in the Stop I-3 crowd (many of which, btw, do not vote in GA-10 – something Mr. Broun might want to look into before jumping on their bandwagon). However, internal polling from Norwood’s office showed a high margin of voters in GA-10 were in favor of the road. I don’t remember what our polling was like in Max Burns’ office, but I’d imagine John Barrow’s folks would find it to be a popular idea in GA-12 if they’ve done recent polling.

    Here are some of the benefits to having the interstate:

    1. Increased access, bringing more commerce this way. Close to 80% of jobs in the US are within 15 miles of an interstate.

    2. A route for the Port of Savannah traffic that would avoid Atlanta when going to points west. Savannah is one of the largest ports in the US, and currently those shipments travel I-75.

    3. A direct route from Augusta to Savannah, obviously a plus for those of us who travel between the two cities.

    The thing to think about, of course, is that if #1 is true (and it is), moving the top part of the interstate proposal from GA-10 to SC-03 would help Gresham Barrett, so he’d probably be all for the idea. While I love Gresham and western South Carolina, I love eastern Georgia a whole lot more, and I would rather it be us reaping economic benefits from the new interstate.

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