Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Interstate-22 Extension (Phase I - Eastern)

Start: Jonesboro, AR - End: Brunswick, GA
(currently) Start: Memphis, TN – End: Birmingham, AL
I-DOTS (Phase I) - Start: Birmingham, AL – End: Brunswick, GA
I-DOTS (Phase II) - Start: Memphis TN - End: Jonesboro, AR

Est. Length:
425 miles (Phase I)

: Homeland Security, Population Centers, Economic Growth, Environmental/Fuel, Evacuation Route, Utilization of Existing Highways

AR: Jonesboro TN: Memphis. MS: Tupelo. AL: Birmingham, Auburn/Opelika, Phenix City/Smiths. GA: Columbus, Albany, Waycross, Brunswick

Intersections: (Phase I) I-459 West, Adamsville, AL (merge); I-65, Gardendale, AL; I-59 @ I-459 (merge); I-459 Split at Grants Mill; I-85, Opelika/Auburn, AL; I-81 (I-185), Fortson, GA; I-75, Tifton, GA; I-95, Brunswick, GA

Description: Interstate-22 is currently being developed connecting Memphis, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama and scheduled for completion in 2006. Continuing the natural southeastern path, the Interstate extension enters Georgia north of Columbus and terminates at Georgia’s coast near Savannah at Brunswick/St. Simons. The suggested east-west route across Georgia would upgrade GA-520/Corridor Z adding Albany and Waycross, Georgia to the Interstate System and intersecting with I-75 south of Tifton at Adel and travel between Sylvester and Moultrie, Georgia adding those towns to the Interstate System.

Creating an additional connection with Georgia’s coast at Brunswick is carries economic benefits to international shipping in the Southeast. As western ports struggle with Asian import traffic, some oceanic traffic is shifting to eastern ports and will continue to grow as Panama's canal undergoes upgrades to accomodate modern cargo ships. Improved interstate highway systems from Georgia’s ports provide incentive and infrastructure to accommodate increased shipping traffic throughout the region.

Around north Birmingham metropolitan area, the extension of I-22 from Jasper through Sumiton, Gardendale and Center Point to connect with I-459’s northern terminus would form the northern segment for the suggested completion of the I-459 JeffCo (Jefferson County) Perimeter. I-22 and I-459 would share the northern segment to Gardendale where I-22 would continue to Sumiton and southeast and I-459 to Adamsville.

The Interstate’s trek through east Alabama might roughly follow and utilize parts of the recently widened US-280. North of Smiths Station, Alabama, the Interstate would turn and cross the Chattahoochee River between lakes Oliver and Harding into extreme northwest Muscogee or southwest Harris County. Traveling east then turning south through extreme eastern Muscogee County, traveling through southwestern Talbot County utilizing a portion of recently widened U.S. 80, and north-south through Marion County eventually intersecting with Interstate-14 (proposed) and forming the north and east segments of the (suggested) Interstate-222 Benning Beltway which would ultimately encircle the Columbus/Fort Benning area.

North of Memphis, Tennessee, I-22 might be extended to Jonesboro, Arkansas by co-signing with I-55 to Turrell, Tennessee where it will split and follow with US-63 to Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Additional I-22 post updates:

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