Forrester Parkway extension posing wetlands threat -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Forrester Parkway extension posing wetlands threat

Jamie McAfee Jamie McAfee
Gordon Rogers Gordon Rogers

Lee County officials are considering two possible routes in its efforts for a Forrester Parkway extension to connect Highway 19 and 82.

Part of the project would go through Jamie McAfee's land that he manages on Fowltown Farms. Some of that land has wetland area. He and Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers say building through it would be a mistake.

"Where you lay that dirt down keeps the water from soaking in," Rogers said. "That recharge to the aquifer is what fuels all of these wells and all of this agriculture."

"Lee county has shown that they've got some other routes that they can utilize here," McAfee said. "That have virtually no environmental impact."

The alternative option would only go through one pact of wetlands as opposed to two. In addition, Rogers says the route would be cheaper.

"One estimate, the Georgia Tech study shows about a million dollar difference," Rogers said. "The other estimate which is a county study shows it to be 2 million dollar difference."

He says the estimates do not include the cost of mitigating damage to the wetlands, which he claims could add another $500,000 to the project.

McAfee says the construction may also negatively impact of number of species, including gopher tortoises, wood storks and blue heron.

The County Commission held a public hearing on the proposed route last week.



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