The Times-Free Press reports today that Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has indicated a willingness to discuss trading
Georgia’s Tennessee’s water for Georgia’s transportation dollars.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s spokeswoman Yvette Martinez indicated Thursday the governor would not summarily reject overtures from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal that the two states work out a trade of Volunteer State water for Peachtree State transportation improvements.
“We are relying on our [environmental] experts … to continue to monitor the issue in terms of what is in the best interest of Tennessee,” Martinez said by email. “Governor Haslam has said that he is open to sitting down and discussing the issue with Governor Deal.”
Any solution for Georgia’s water woes, or Chattanooga’s transportation ills is years off, but there are some good signs here.
In October, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said this project might be in line for federal funding in five or six years.
Aside from the water aspect, it’s unclear to me how Atlantans or other Georgians benefit from high-speed rail to Chattanooga.
A GDOT consultant estimates a high-speed train ride from Atlanta to Chattanooga at 60 to 90 minutes. Add to that the necessity to get to Hartsfield-Jackson to board the train, and I might as well drive the two hours to Chattanooga. That way I won’t be faced with the question of how to get around Chattanooga once I arrive.
The cost of a round-trip on the eventual Chattanooga-Nashville route, similar in distance to Atlanta-Chattanooga, is currently estimated at $75 per person. Not a cheap ticket.
Conversely, unless you’re coming specifically to Hartsfield-Jackson to fly somewhere else, arriving in Atlanta without ground transportation is a difficult proposition at best.