State transportation planners want to adjust the route for a proposed highway connecting the Rome and Cartersville areas more directly to I-75. The changes come in response to a federal ruling this summer that an 1867 manganese mine on Dobbins Mountain has historic value, halting federal money to the roadway because it would damage the area.
A former mine in northwest Georgia could force state transportation officials to pick another route for the proposed U.S. Highway 411 connector in Bartow County. A federal official notified the state this week that the mine is historically significant and eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
An endangered bat is the latest potential setback for a planned road offering better interstate access to Rome and Cartersville. The rare animal lives in nearby Gilmer County and also could be living in Bartow County where the highway would go, according to some of the project’s opponents.
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 state has certified Dobbins Mountain in northeast Georgia as a wildlife refuge. People opposing a plan to cut a highway through the land hope this will force the state Department of Transportation to abandon the route.
People in northwest Georgia have been waiting on an extension to Highway 411 for three decades. It would relieve congestion and create better access to Interstate 75. The state is ready to move forward. But landowners defending their property are willing to sue to block it, so extending Highway 411 could require a new route.