Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Northern Arc Is Back

The Northern Arc is back... well, at least a small portion of it is.

Fellow road enthusiasts, it is my pleasure to introduce to you Georgia's proposed "411 Connector".

Upon completion, it will be a 4-lane divided highway that will link I-75 directly to the interchange of US 41/GA 3 and US 411/GA 20 in Bartow County, thus providing a quicker route to Rome. Furthermore, it is being promoted as an economic development initiative for Bartow County, Floyd County (Rome), and the rest of Northwest Georgia's counties along the US 27/GA 1 GRIP corridor from Rome to Chattanooga.

In the early 1960's, the Georgia DOT (GDOT) built a 4-lane divided highway stretching from US 41/GA 3 toUS 27/GA 1 in Rome. This highway was not built to interstate standards, nor is there any proposal to upgrade it.

Initially, it was signed US 411/GA 344, but by 1978, the GA 20 designation replaced GA 344.

The original US 411, located north of the current one, was simply GA 20 until 1978, when it became GA 293.

Since 1986, there had been plans to extend this highway directly to I-75, but it was later modified to become the westernmost part of the now-defunct Northern Arc (a GRIP corridor that would have been GA 500).

There are at least six (6) different proposed routes for this extension. At least 2 of them would include a diamond interchange with US 411/GA 61 north of Cartersville, thus giving hope that at least this part will be a full-blown limited-access highway.

Currently, to travel from Atlanta to Rome, here's what you have to do:

- Take I-75 north to GA 20 West.

- Take GA 20 West to US 41/GA 3 North. (At this point, US 411 leaves GA 61 and joins the mix.)

- Proceed north on US 41/411/GA 20 until you reach the trumpet interchange that will put you on the current US 411/GA 20 4-lane road to Rome.

According to the Rome News-Tribune and the U.S. House of Representatives, this has been put on a federal "fast track" with over 20 other proposed highway projects nationwide.

For your reading and roadgeeking pleasure, here are the news articles:

- Transportation Equity Act has $21,000,000 for "411 Connector" (U.S. House of Representatives, 3/10/2005)

- Federal Bill Includes 411 Connector Funds (Rome News-Tribune, 3/11/2005).

For the proposed routes and up-to-date info, please see the GDOT "411 Connector" website.

If you have any other info regarding the "411 Connector", then please e-mail steve#georgiaroadgeek.com (NOTE: Spam filter in effect. Please change # to @ before e-mailing.)

That's all for now. Thanks for visiting, thanks in advance for your comments, and please come back soon.