Hello, dear readers!
According to an article in the Rome News-Tribune, the Three Rivers Regional Commission is promoting a LaGrange-to-Macon freight corridor that would provide trucks running to and from LaGrange a direct route to I-16 and the Port of Savannah.
Known as “Georgia’s Export/Import Highway“, this 87.3 mile (139.7 km) highway would run Georgia State Routes 109, 18, and 74. This route would take the highway from I-85 in LaGrange (Troup County), to Greenville in Meriwether County, a small part of Pike County just south of Molena, Thomaston in Upson County, then through southern Monroe County, entering Macon-Bibb County (Georgia’s newest city-county consolidated government), and ending at I-75 just south of I-16. Based on the Export/Import website, here’s the route I traced, plus a slight modification of my own…
In addition to moving freight from LaGrange to Savannah by avoiding Metro Atlanta, it also is being promoted as an outer western Atlanta By-Pass, which would incorporate US 27/GA 1 from Chattanooga to LaGrange and give trucks and other Florida-bound traffic an alternative to the congestion of Metro Atlanta’s freeways. It is also being promoted as an economic development opportunity for both the Northwest and West Central sections of Georgia that are otherwise not served by the Interstate Highway System, thus making it a potential Governor’s Road Improvement Program (GRIP) corridor.
The next step is to get the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to do a study (estimated cost $1,000,000) of the proposed corridor.
In any event, if the highway ever comes to fruition, it wouldn’t be until sometime between 2030 and 2040.
From both a roadgeek and Metro Atlanta motorist standpoint, and assuming that the highway will be 4 lanes divided with a 45-foot (13.6 meter) median, I think that this is a great idea and would hope that GDOT would incorporate this into their future highway plans. My only concern is how this highway would be built.
The Export/Import Highway as presented would incorporate bypasses around the cities of Greenville and Thomaston, which is a great start. For traffic flow purposes, I would advocate that interchanges be built on those bypasses at major highway crossings (US 27 Alt/GA 85 Alt and US 19/GA 3), plus a more northerly routing starting from around the Upson/Monroe County line and ending at I-75 just north of I-475 (see dashed black line in the picture). In my opinion, this modification would allow traffic to avoid Macon’ surface-streets, giving all vehicles (especially trucks) a quicker route to I-16 and Savannah.
So what do you think about this latest Georgia highway idea? Please post comments either on this blog or on the GRG Facebook page, and I look forward to reading them.
That’s it for now. Supper’s waiting and I gotta go eat. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!
– “US 27 Could Be Alternate Atlanta Bypass For Freight“, Rome News-Tribune, September 20, 2013.
– “Georgia’s Export/Import Highway” website, Three Rivers Regional Commission