Wed., November 11, 2009 12:02pm (EST)

DOT Says 'No' to SW Ga. Interstate
By Edgar Treiguts
Updated: 5 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
A just-completed DOT study concludes an interstate for southwest Georgia is too expensive for the return benefit.
A just-completed DOT study concludes an interstate for southwest Georgia is too expensive for the return benefit.
The Georgia Department of Transportation says it cannot afford to build a new interstate through Southwest Georgia.

The proposed interstate would link 32 counties at a cost of $3 billion. Officials say the price tag outweighs the benefits to the region.

The conclusion comes after DOT officials poured-over projected traffic patterns and growth maps for the next 30 years. The DOT also involved Southwest Georgia elected officials and business leaders in the year-and-a-half long study.

DOT assistant planning director Matthew Fowler says instead of an interstate, a ‘next-best’ option is being backed by state transportation officials:

"The one thing we heard over and over no matter where we were, was to widen (Ga. Highway) 133 between Albany and Valdosta, and we are making that recommendation. I think a lot of people are really comfortable with that recommendation."

Fowler says a widening of Ga. Highway 133 is a better economic option at a cost of $500 million. The DOT also recommends continued improvements to US-27 in the region.

Final details of the Southwest GA Interstate study should be available on the DOT’s website in late December.