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9-10-04 U S 441 Corridor is Important to Northeast Georgia

When the Georgia Department of Transportation completed two northbound lanes on the U.S. 441 bypass around Eatonton, it added more than extra space on the five-mile stretch of road.

AVOC

 

September 9, 2004

 

U S 441 Corridor is Important to Northeast Georgia

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

It is interesting to note that GA DOT has finally constructed the northbound lanes around Eatonton.

 

U S 441 is an important north-south corridor in east Georgia.  It needs four-laneing from the North Carolina line to the Florida line.    There seems to be little happening in Oconee and Morgan, between the Watkinsville By Pass and the Madison By Pass.

 

We always pushed this long-range project with the State.  It is a curvy dangerous route used by many Georgia residents to access the University of Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains.  It is a popular route.   It needs to be improved to take some traffic out of Atlanta and improve the I-20 to I-85 connections.

 

Area officials need to give some attention to U S 441 South!


The Union-Recorder

            Milledgeville, GA

             HYPERLINK "http://www.unionrecorder.com/articles/2004/09/07/newhttp://www.unionrecorder.com/articles/2004/09/07/news/news03.txt

 

September 7, 2004

New lanes on U.S. 441 Bypass make room for economic development

By Merritt Melancon - The Union-Recorder

EATONTON - When the Georgia Department of Transportation completed two northbound lanes on the U.S. 441 bypass around Eatonton, it added more than extra space on the five-mile stretch of road.

Roddie Ann Blackwell, president of the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce, said the extra lanes also add opportunities for new development along the bypass.

"Basically, the way I feel about it is that it's going to promote more economic growth," she said. "It opens up more land for development, and it moves the larger truck traffic out of downtown, so that the people who actually want to shop there can actually come downtown without worrying about getting hit by a log truck."

She added that she thinks businesses will take advantage of land along the northbound side of the highway to provide gas stations and eateries for people who are heading north and don't want to cross over or turn around to stop for fuel.

"You need to be able to get (gas) from north or south bound access without having to turn around," she said. "So far, things have developed on the outside area of the bypass. Now, I think they'll start developing on the land on the inside (northbound) side of the bypass."

Also, she believes the Wal-mart, which is planned for the south end of the bypass, will spur development. She already knows there will be new restaurants at each end of the bypass, but could not release the names since negotiations are still taking place.

Eatonton Mayor John Reid agrees that portions will take on a different look over the next few years, but the bypass itself will not become a commercial strip.

"I know there will be some growth out there with the Wal-mart and everything," Reid said. "But parts of the bypass aren't even zoned commercial. In our five-year plan we reserved some of it as residential. We're just taking it one step at a time, but we are looking for some good economic growth out there to help the city."

Reid added that he doesn't want to see the bypass become so developed that drivers won't come into downtown Eatonton to eat and visit.

"We don't want to take all the focus off of downtown," he said. "We want the drivers who just want to pass through to keep on passing through. At the same, we want to keep some focus on downtown for the people who want to stop in, shop and visit with us."


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