Intrepid reporter Mike Stucka of the Macon Telegraph has details on proposals to bring an I-14 “Fourteenth Amendment Highway” linking Augusta, Macon, Columbus, and points westward in Alabama and Mississippi.
“…the federal route also covers an area under study by state officials in the ongoing Connect Central Georgia study, which would better tie Columbus, Macon and Augusta through roadways. It also puts the federal government on record in support of Macon Mayor Robert Reichert’s idea of a connector road across the Ocmulgee River south of Macon, from Avondale Mill Road to Twiggs County’s Sgoda Road.
Bob Rychel, regional mobility manager with the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, said even if the federal route is never built or funded, its ideas are likely to affect other transportation plans.
“It is a proposed project, so I think that any community that’s in its designated route would need to think about planning around that and in conjunction with that,” Rychel said.
The 14th Amendment Highway study looked at five different options for improving transportation from Augusta to Natchez. The minimum cost was cited at about $296 million, adding in a relatively few smaller pieces of roads to connect to existing highways. The three middle-priced alternatives would cost $1.4 billion to $3.8 billion. The $7.7 billion price tag is on the high end.
While the project links a lot of Georgia’s smaller cities, the key interest is likely the Macon to Columbus to Montgomery part. This would link the newly expanded Port of Savannah to all points west, without truck traffic having to drive through Atlanta to meet I-20. Consider this another leg in the move to keep Georgia the logistics center of the Southeast.