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Friday, June 18, 2010 - 7:55am

City Protects Land From Road Project

A city in north Georgia wants to protect a hundred acres of land that the Department of Transportation plans to run a highway through.

The city of Euharlee has put a conservation easement on Dobbins Mountain where the DOT wants to build the long-awaited 411 connector from Rome to Interstate 75.

“We want to conserve it because of the natural beauty and the environmental impact that could be protected from our conservation easement," says Euharlee City Manager Trish Sullivan. "On Dobbins Mountain there are manganese mines and civil war trenches."

The landowner has held up the highway with litigation for two decades. Their legal team is now using the protected designation to try to further derail the project, says Department of Transportation board member David Doss.

"Clearly it’s another attempt to stall, delay, change alter a needed road project that serves a 100,000 people in Northwest Georgia," says Doss.

State law prevents the DOT from using wildlife refuges and historic sites unless there’s no good alternative.

The landowner and conservationists say the DOT hasn’t thoroughly explored other routes.