I-75 through South Georgia will be widened - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

I-75 through South Georgia will be widened

July 20, 2006

Crisp County -- Georgia spent more money on road improvements in the last year than ever, more than twice the previous record. State leaders hope it's a good investment that will pay off with more economic development.

As he campaigns for re-election, Governor Sonny Perdue came to south Georgia to promote his Fast Forward initiative to improve transportation statewide.

A flick of a little dirt along I-75 North was symbolic of a big change to come in South Georgia.

"It's economic development, it's congestion relief, and we're very proud to be here with you to kickoff this project," said Governor Sonny Perdue.

It's part of Governor Perdue's Fast Forward Initiative. A project to jumpstart many road improvements statewide in a six-year time span.

This particular lane widening project will start here at State Route 300 and continue eight miles down the road on I-75 North, to the Dooly County Line.

The governor says it's needed for hurricane evacuation, to keep up with growing traffic, and to spur development in a rural part of Georgia.

"This is a bottleneck area from state route 300, pulling people out of the southwest corner of the state up to the Dooly County line. It's an eight mile stretch that will continue moving forward past that afterwards," said Governor Sonny Perdue.

Aside from the economic growth that will come into town on these lanes, community members say some of their concerns driving through the area are answered.

"It's gonna bring a new phase of safety to our community. It's one thing to be driving down the road three lane, then go to two-lane, and it's been a factor in some of the accidents in our community," said County Commission Chairman Ferrell Henry.

"I hear so many people say I just hate to get on I-75 because it's so congested, well that's going to alleviate some of that congestion and make people feel safer traveling," said community member Joyce Pheil.

The extra lanes will give easier access to and from the area, and smoother travel as well.

This eight mile stretch of highway will cost more than 145-million dollars to widen.This is the ninth I-75 lane widening project to start under the Governor Perdue's Fast Foward Program. The state invested 2.25-billion dollars into road improvement projects during last fiscal year.

Gov. Perdue says he supports fully funding another major project in our area, widening Highway 133 from Albany to Valdosta.

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