The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded a contract to conduct the study of Interstate 3 (I-3) planning, cost estimate and routing. If built, the interstate, which was proposed in 2005 by a Georgia Congressman, will travel from Savannah, Georgia to Knoxville, Tenn. through some of the most environmentally sensitive stretches of the Southern Appalachians. The route could impact four different national forests as well as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, while costing taxpayers more than $25 million per mile to build. A shorter interstate route between these two cities already exists, and some environmental organizations suggest the only reason to build the road is to connect a nuclear weapons complex near Knoxville with the nuclear waste site in Savannah, Georgia, rerouting the toxic waste through the mountains away from highly populated cities.
The study process will run approximately 13 months with opportunities along the way for public comment.
Find out more here.