More roads? Thanks, but no-thanks - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

More roads? Thanks, but no-thanks

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December 19, 2006

Thomas County-- Thomasville Chamber of Commerce president Don Sims says the interstate extension proposal is still in the beginning stages.   "This has been proposed by Albany and Dougherty county and it came from them so it's a brand new look at what might be."

The extension would take interstate 185 from Columbus, where it ends now, down to Albany, then through Camilla, Pelham, Thomasville, and ending in Monticello Florida.

Sims says for Albany, it's a good plan.  "The people in Albany already have their interchanges in place so it becomes mechanically, an easier matter for them to be for an interstate," he says.

Sims says he's concerned there just isn't enough room to bring an interstate through this part of town. That might mean a bypass, and a lot of Thomas county businesses could lose out.

"In looking at it and talking to some consultants that we've talked to they felt sure that that would have to be bypassed," says Sims.

And for all the business investments along highway 19 in Thomasville, he says this just won't do.  "It doesn't seem to do what its intended to and that is increase economic opportunity for the citizens and businesses," says Sims. 

In the end, the federal government will make the final decision. And Thomasville businesses will hope it comes out in the their favor.

The department of transportation has already laid funds aside for a study that will start next spring, into the best plan for the interstate extension.

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