Thursday, March 23, 2006

Interstate-30 Extension (currently proposed I-3)

Start: Beaufort, SC – End: Fort Worth, TX
(currently) Start: Little Rock, AR - End: Fort Worth/Dallas, TX
Start: Beufort, SC - End: Arkadelphia, AR

Est. length: 420 miles (Beaufort, SC to Arkadelphia, AR)

Benefits: Homeland Security, Economic Growth, Environmental/Fuel, Population Centers, Existing Highways, Evacuation Route.

Connecting: SC: Beaufort/Hilton Head. GA: Augusta, Athens, Atlanta, Rome. AL: Scottsboro, Huntsville, Decatur, Florence. TN: Chattanooga, Knoxville (via I-75). MS: Iuka, Ripley, Oxford (Lafayette). AR: Arkadelphia (joins existing I-30), Little Rock, Texarkana. TX: Texarkana, Fort Worth/Dallas.

Intersections: I-95, Ridgeland, SC; I-14, Wrens, GA; I-20, Thomson/Wrightsboro, GA; I-85, Suwanee, GA; I-575, Canton, GA; I-75, Cartersville, GA; I-81, Rome, GA; I-59, Fort Payne, AL; I-65, Dacatur, AL.

The northern route of the proposed Interstate-3 is disputed by many North Georgia mountain counties. Diverse interest groups throughout the Great Smokey Mountain region in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee are also opposed to the route as currently proposed.

To achieve a coastal connection with eastern Tennessee, an alternative route for the Interstate might take a more east-west route from August, Georgia to near Athens, Georgia, then directing north to join with I-75 north of Atlanta. This suggested route would allow the Interstate to utilize the existing I-75 to route traffic Chattanooga and then into Knoxville as originally planned. The South Carolina section to Augusta, Georgia would provide limited-access highway connections for the military installations of in South Carolina with Fort Gordon in Georgia. An east-west route would require an even number to fit in to the Interstate vernacular. I-30 is suggested to replace the proposed I-3.

The new Interstate-30 forms another primary and vital hurricane evacuation route for the South Carolina southern and Georgia northern Atlantic coast. There are several key military installations in the area including Beaufort Marine Corp Air Station, Laurel Bay Naval Area, U.S. Naval Hospital, and Paris Island.

Further, this route would allow Interstate-30 to cross north Georgia and along the outer boundary of Metro Atlanta. As the highway routes through north Alabama at Scottsboro and on to join with the Interestate-565 Spur at Huntsville. It is further suggested that I-565 be re-designated as I-30.

The new Interstate-30 might ultimately form the northern segment of Atlanta’s Outer Perimeter or Northern Arc. While even this project is contested by some communities, it remains a viable future project worthy of further consideration.

Joining with I-30’s current eastern terminus in Little Rock, Arkansas, Interstate-30 would ultimately go from the Atlantic coast in South Carolina to Fort Worth, Texas providing important interstate access to international shipping ports at South Carolina and Georgia. The current segment of I-30 between Arkadelphia and Little Rock would be re-designated I-130, an Interstate spur of the new I-30 Extension.

I-30 (I-3) is one of two new interstates proposed by current legislation. The other, I-14, is also an east-west route proposed to terminate in Texas. I-14's routes through southern regions of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and middle Texas, while I-30's suggested route here takes a route through northern Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, southern Arkansas and norhtern Texas.

1 comment:

US 71 said...

There has already been one proposal to extend I-30 north of Little Rock along US 67 into Missouri.