Coalition for the Right Road

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GDOT Studying Up to Three Modified Routes for the US 411 Connector

Excessive Cost, Environmental Concerns and Pending Lawsuit Cited As Reasons for Study

(Cartersville, Ga. – March 3, 2010) – The Coalition for the Right Road, an organization of Georgia citizens committed to making sure the US 411 Connector is built less expensively, safer and with minimal environmental impact, announced today the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is studying up to three modified routes for the connector. The proposed route, Route D-VE, has been reported to cost taxpayers nearly $280 million – making it $182 million more than the 2.5 mile shorter, less environmentally intrusive design, Route G.

According to a recent media report, one of the modified routes would link the connector to SR 20 and another would connect the road to US 411/SR 61. Both modified routes would provide motorists prompt access to I-75 and remain far quicker than existing routes SR 20 and US 41 through Cartersville.

If a modified route was selected, federal agencies have indicated the road would not lose its funding. Additionally, GDOT would only be required to complete the environmental studies for the modified section, thus eliminating any notion the project will have to start completely over.

“This is a very positive development for residents of Bartow and Floyd counties, said Richard Chalifoux, member of Coalition for the Right Road. “It means that GDOT is serious about potentially saving taxpayers millions of dollars, preserving several environmental and historic resources and getting motorists to I-75 faster. We appreciate the state listening to our concerns about Route D-VE and hope they select one of the modified routes.”

GDOT’s proposed route, which faces several, lengthy legal hurdles, would destroy Dobbins Mountain, a historic mine and a 100-acre conservation easement. Additionally, the required blasting of Dobbins Mountain will introduce acidic drainage into nearby stream and tributaries, which will needlessly harm the threatened and federally-protected Cherokee darter and other sensitive species.

Mary Martin, member of Coalition for the Right Road, stated, “It’s important to understand, the coalition is not against the road; just the current route (which mirrors the route that was previously stopped by a federal judge). We realize motorists need this road, but not one that unnecessarily burdens taxpayers and causes irreparable damage to the environment. The coalition applauds GDOT and Board Member David Doss for trying to find a compromise of sorts to help alleviate concerns about the road’s excessive cost and further project delays.”

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About the Coalition for the Right Road

Coalition for the Right Road (CORR) is an organization of Georgia citizens committed to making sure the US 411 Connector is built with minimal environmental impact and at the lowest cost to taxpayers. CORR is opposed to the Georgia Department of Transportation’s current plans for the 411 Connector – Route D-VE – because of its high cost, inefficient interchange and environmental destruction. The coalition is committed to raising awareness of shorter, cheaper and less destructive routes, and is open to anyone who shares these concerns. For more information, visit www.coalitionfortherightroad.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

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