New Interstate For Central Georgia Proposed

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.

19 comments

  1. drjay says:

    isn’t this “old news” wasn’t 14 “authorized” 5 or 6 years ago by the same legislation that authorized i-3. although no funding was identified for either at the time…

  2. bgsmallz says:

    Drive through Atlanta? Errrr….I get the meaning. 285 is basically Atlanta. However, as someone who sees a LOT of truck traffic on the downtown connector at rush hour, I wish the idea of driving through Atlanta proper, which isn’t allowed, was able to be enforced without a new road.

    But…not to be a humbug, the road sounds like a great idea, but also sounds like it lacks funding. Stupid person question coming up in 3…2…1…why not make it a toll road? It would do wonders for job growth in the resulting distribution facilities that always pop up along roads of that nature. Also would provide a relatively smooth route for truck traffic from Florida and Savannah to go to the Midwest without either (a) going through Atlanta or (b) swinging all the way west to Mobile to pick up 65.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      “Stupid person question coming up in 3…2…1…why not make it a toll road? It would do wonders for job growth in the resulting distribution facilities that always pop up along roads of that nature. Also would provide a relatively smooth route for truck traffic from Florida and Savannah to go to the Midwest without either (a) going through Atlanta or (b) swinging all the way west to Mobile to pick up 65.”

      Why not make it a toll road?

      Because making it a toll road and getting it built and experiencing the benefits you stated sometime before the year 2100 would make way too much sense when we can just sit and stare at a gridlocked I-20 and other gridlocked Atlanta highways until our great-great-great grandchildren get sick of sitting in endless traffic jams and finally decide to do something constructive about it, that’s why.

      • ted in bed says:

        Another reason against the Toll Road is that there aren’t enough rich people clamoring for a lane of their own away from the rest of us in that section of the state.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      My guess is because the proposed road would run through the Black Belt agricultural section of Alabama and into Mississippi where many of the counties along the route are predominantly black.

      • drjay says:

        yep, i guess the originally numbering system is out the window with “1-3” being considered this far east. but if they followed the original numbering pattern, this highway should be i-18—oh well

        • Engineer says:

          Not really, it all depends on where you consider the “starting” point of the interstate to be. If it starts in Natchez Miss. as planned, it would be further south than I-16 (essentially near the same latitude as places like Albany, GA and Darien, GA), so I-14 would work. (Remember: Under the the numbering scheme for the Interstate Highway System, even-numbered routes increase from south to north)

  3. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    Great. More plans for some type of exciting new infrastructure that will be built by the 12th of Never.

  4. peachstealth says:

    I don’t know that it needs to go as far west as Natchez, but a southern branch of I-20 that would leave I-20 at Meridian, proceed through Montgomery, Columbus and Macon then rejoin I-20 at Augusta would be a good idea. I thought that’s what the Fall Line Freeway was though. It would just need to be upgraded from controlled access to limited access.
    I also think an interstate that would pretty much parallel US 23 from Macon to Jacksonville would be a good idea. Most of it is already four lane. It runs with The Golden Isles Parkway from Eastman to Hazelhurst and with US 1 from north of Alma to Jacksonville

    • Engineer says:

      I can assure you that the folks in Waycross would love an interstate going north/south like you suggested or east/west (following US 82 from I-95 in Brunswick to I-75 in Tifton).

      In regards to upgrading the roads to from controlled to limited access, US1/23 between Waycross and Folkston is very lightly populated and there are few roads connecting to it. If they decided to join it to I-95 near Kingsland/St. Marys, you could use GA 40, and again, there are few roads and it is lightly populated, so costs could be kept minimal.

      • peachstealth says:

        That would certainly be handy for people commuting from Waycross-Folkston to Kings Bay, but 23 is already 4 lanes to Jacksonville. You’d probably want to end it at the I-295 perimeter around Jax.
        That should take some of the pressure off I-75 south of Macon by rerouting folks heading down the east coast of Florida

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