Columbus on direct route for new interstate

By Roslyn Giles

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)- A major east west corridor connecting several Sunbelt cities called the 14th Amendment Highway pinpoints Columbus in a feasibility study.

Congress initiated the new roadway study to provide another route for motorists. 

The thoroughfare would start in Augusta and continue to Macon onto Columbus through Montgomery, ending in Natchez, Mississippi.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is conducting the study to determine just how feasible the highway would be and what it would take to get it done. "If it could be done properly, it would put us on a real interstate system—that's not to short change I-I85. Right now, this would actually be the only interstate that travels through Columbus and provides that kind of movement back and forth, where as now, 185 is pretty much dedicated to Columbus itself," explained Rick Jones, Columbus Planning Director.

There isn't a proposal on the table but, Jones said the highway would likely go through north Columbus near JR Allen Parkway and US Highway 80. "We have to make sure the highway does no harm to neighborhoods or disrupt communities," added Jones.

Engineers may also consider linking the 14THAH to the Fall Line Freeway to avoid overbuilding. 

The 215 mile corridor traverses the entire width of the state from the Alabama State Line in Columbus to Macon and then to Augusta at the South Carolina State Line.

A timeline indicates approximately 20 to 30 years before we could see drivers on the new stretch of roadway.

In the meantime, Columbus City Council will get a status update during its regular scheduled meeting Tuesday.