While I was there, I noticed that ALDOT had a section regarding a proposal to extend I-85 from I-65 to I-20/59 along the US 80/AL 8 corridor.
According to the AARoads Interstate Guide website, this was supposed to be a part of a Congressionally proposed Interstate 14 corridor that would run through the "Black Belt" of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Please click here for the proposal from the official website of Georgia Congressman Charlie Norwood.
For years before this proposal was made, I had originally envisioned Interstate 14, a route that would start at I-85 in eastern Alabama near Tuskegee, parallel US 80 from there to Phenix City, and into Georgia through Columbus, Macon/Warner Robins, and ending just west of Augusta at I-20 in Columbia County. This would be my own "Fall Line Freeway".
Based on ALDOT's proposed I-85 extension, I think it would make sense to keep it as part of the proposed I-14 corridor, with I-14 using the southern Montgomery bypass freeway (AL 108)as part of its route and I-14 and I-85 sharing pavement eastward until you reach the Tuskegee area. At that point, I-14 would run along a new route (parallelling US 80/AL 8) that would tie it into the existing Phenix City/Columbus northern bypass. Please click here for an ALDOT PDF file of the proposed I-85 extension study area.
Here are images of my own I-14 Georgia route proposal as drawn on an official Georgia road map (my proposed route is in pink highlighter):
From Phenix City, AL, I-14 would use the existing US 80 Columbus/Phenix City northern bypass (known as J.R. Allen Parkway in Georgia), the northeasternmost part of the Columbus-Manchester Expressway (US 27 Alt/GA 85) into Harris County, then just south of Waverly Hall, it would proceed eastward, paralleling US 80/GA 22 all the way to I-75.
I-14 would cross I-75 just south of Hartley Bridge Road (I-75 Exit 155) in Bibb County, putting it between the downtown areas of Macon and Warner Robins.
From I-75, I-14 would proceed into Twiggs County, where it would cross I-16 and then go northeastward toward US 441 /GA 29, crossing it just south of Milledgeville and Baldwin State Forest.
Before reaching its final end at I-20 just east of US 221/GA 47 (I-20 Exit 183) in Columbia County, it would go north of the cities of Sandersville and Gibson, which are the county seats of Washington and Glascock Counties, respectively.
One advantage of having an I-14 would be to give central Alabama and central Georgia a high-speed way to get to and from Augusta and points eastward (Columbia, Florence, and Myrtle Beach, SC) without having to go through the Atlanta area, thus hopefully alleviating some of Atlanta's traffic woes. For example, to travel from Montgomery to Augusta via interstate, you would have to go I-85 to I-285 to I-20, putting you right smack-dab in a potential Atlanta gridlock situation.
Roughly, I estimate the distance of my proposed I-14 within Georgia to be 190 miles (304 km).
PLEASE NOTE: This is only the opinion of "The Georgia Road Geek" and does not represent in any way, shape, form or fashion, any official plans that the Georgia DOT may or may not have.
In the meantime, please feel free, my fellow road enthusiasts, to share your thoughts and ideas.
That's all for now. Thanks for visiting and please do so often.