The Georgia Department of Transportation said Thursday it will work with federal authorities to reconsider a proposed route for Highway 411. The freeway would connect Rome to Interstate 75.
Governor Nathan Deal said he received a letter from the National Highway Administration asking for the state to come up with alternatives. National historic preservationists determined that an old mine on the original route warranted government protection.
The 19th century manganese mine is located on Dobbins Mountain, which is owned by the Rollins family. The Rollins have fought the project for years.
“It’s very disappointing to me that the federal government would at one point in time tell us that the route was ok and then come back and change their mind,” said Governor Deal.
Deal blamed the federal government for wasting Georgia taxpayers’ time and money spent on the project, but said he will see the project through to completion.
“My determination is that we are going to have a route to connect Rome back to the interstate and we want to do it as quickly as possible,” explained Deal. “It’s just regrettable that the federal government has now postponed the project even further.”