The Thomaston City Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of a Georgia Department of Transportation study of the Macon to LaGrange transportation corridor. The action came at their June 5 meeting.
City Manager Patrick Comiskey read the resolution, which said in part that “GDOT’s 2010-2050 freight study identified a Macon to LaGrange corridor project as the highest urban bypass project and further identified the corridor as having the highest return on investment for highway corridor projects.”
Mayor Hays Arnold provided some background on the history of the proposed corridor, stating that it actually began as an initiative in Thomaston several years ago.
“We served as the host city for the region at that time, and representatives from every county and city along that route, from Bibb County all the way over to Troup County and LaGrange, met here. Each and every county and community signed a resolution at that point in time in support of a study for this 74 corridor,” said Arnold. “Unfortunately, the financing and the money did not work out at the time.
“But more than that, the KIA plant was not in operation, a lot of the ancillary facilities that work with KIA were not in production, and as a result, the only studies that ever really came about came from GDOT and were not that favorable at that time, because there was just not that quantity of freight utilizing that route.
“Congressman Westmoreland was extremely active trying to get this through on a federal level, as were our senators. But the basic economic collapse that occurred in our country and the budget restraints deemed that this was not a priority item at that time and we didn’t get the funding.
“It’s back and it is back in real form because the freight and logistic studies that have been performed more recently showed that this route is head and shoulders above any alternate route that might be used as an east/west type of corridor,” said Arnold. “The data that substantiates that is part of this packet and is quite extensive.”
Council member Patsy Perdue made a motion to approve the resolution. The motion was seconded by Council member Gary Atwater and approved by a 5-0 vote.