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Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 10:00am

411 Connector Project Still Stalled

A long-awaited highway project in north Georgia between Cartersville and Rome is stalled.

The money to start buying the property is available next month, but the state will not be using it then.

That’s because the Georgia Department of Transportaton hasn’t completed its evaluations for Highway 411.

One concerns an old manganese mine on the property that is under consideration for historical preservation.

“We have basically determined they don’t hold historical value,” says Jill Goldberg with the DOT. “However the final report was just submitted to the state historical preservation office yesterday and they’ll have to review and make sure they concur with it as well.”

Goldberg says the DOT also has to do more environmental studies and submit those to the Federal Highway Administration before they can start buying right of way.

Those re-evaluations were the latest road blocks from landowners who have engaged in a decades long battle with the DOT so the route will not run through their property.

DOT Board member of the region Jeff Lewis, says he is determined to get the project completed.

“Me, personally I’m not marired to any particular route, I just want the road to happen. And if this is the path that we have the most progress on then we need to do our due diligence and proceed forward with where we have the biggest head start.”

The DOT says its goal is to complete all the studies by summer’s end. But it could still be several months after that before it gets federal approval.

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