News from Stop I-3 Coalition Rabun Chapter
For immediate release, July 4, 2005
The STOP I-3 Rabun Chapter urges all Rabun residents to turn out for the county commissioners’ Town Hall meeting Thursday, July 7, at 6 p.m. to signal their concern over proposals to run a new Interstate Highway through the mountains of north Georgia.
“Now is the time to stand up and be counted to help stop this road,” said Lucy Ezzard Bartlett, spokeswoman for the chapter.
“An awful lot of people are saying this is a done deal, but no one checked with us first,” she said. “Now, they’re going to hear from the people this would most affect. Just because some few officials cut a deal in the backrooms of Washington, Atlanta and Beijing does not make it right.
“We must make our voices heard, first at the Town Hall meeting, with the Commissioners on Thursday evening and then on to Congress. I urge each of you to write not only your Congressmen for whom you can vote, but also the members of the committees on the Budget and Transportation in both House and Senate.
“In fact, this road is wrong for the mountains, wrong for our economy and very, very wrong for our mountain way of life,” Bartlett said. Rabun citizens should be particularly concerned because US 441, which is already undergoing major widening from Tallulah Falls to North Carolina, will almost surely become an Interstate construction alternative, she said.
“The people of other mountain counties are already making their opposition to this highway known. We must start with a huge turnout on Thursday to let the politicians know that we don’t want this road,” Bartlett said.
The Stop I-3 Rabun Chapter believes construction of such a huge road running right through the mountains (about 1,000 feet of right-of-way, along a total of between 430 and 450 miles from Savannah to Knoxville) would have a vast detrimental effect on local farms, businesses and tourism; further damage national forestlands; endanger rather than enhance safety and security; and erode an entire way of life that works in harmony with natural resources.