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Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 3:44am

Flowers Latest Roadblock for 411 Connector

A coalition that has raised concerns about a proposed connector between U.S. 411 and Interstate 75 in Bartow County says the habitat of a protected flower could be negatively affected by the planned route.

The Rome News-Tribune reported that the Georgia aster has been found on Dobbins Mountain. The group says previous environmental studies failed to account for the plant by the proposed connector route, which would cut through the mountain.

The route for the 6.34-mile, limited-access highway was approved in 2009 after years of studying alternatives. Its estimated cost is $146 million.

Jill Goldberg, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, said officials at her department don't think the flowers are in the path of the project or within the right of way.

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