stop i3, stop i-3, i3, i-3, stopinterstate3, stop interstate 3, north georgia mountains, environmental concerns, eminent domain, commercial development, highway, construction, sprawl

photo: NC DOT

Exciting news!
Stop I-3 has broadened its mission.

As well as keeping up public momentum to stop I-3, we are monitoring “Corridor K," which could destroy the beautiful Ocoee Gorge in Tennessee, as well as the recently resurrected Northern Arc in north metro Atlanta. We believe that the transportation needs of our communities can be met without destroying our environment and the unique qualities of our region.

This photograph shows the destruction that highway construction can produce in the Southern Appalachian mountains. This is the recently completed Scenic Byway portion of I-26 at Buckner Gap north of Asheville, NC.

For more about who we are, our vision, mission and goals, click here.

For immediate release, January 3, 2008

Stop I-3 Coalition reaffirms position

The Stop I-3 Coalition today reaffirmed its firm opposition to a new interstate highway from Savannah, Georgia, to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, “or any similar highway.”

The coalition’s board reaffirmed its stand in reaction to news reports that Rep. Paul Broun was considering a technical correction to legislative language, suggesting that one possible route for the controversial highway might go through Greenville or Clinton, S.C., on its way from Augusta, Georgia, to its endpoint.

“With or without the technical correction, we are opposed to this interstate, which we believe fxcm review is unneeded and unnecessary,” said Holly Demuth, the coalition’s executive director.

Broun, who won a close election to replace the late Rep. Charlie Norwood, previously had promised to sponsor legislation that would defund the federal study of I-3.

“A clear majority of north Georgia residents view this unnecessary highway as fiscally irresponsible, and environmentally disastrous," concluded Lucy Bartlett, the coalition’s president.

DOT Updates

12/12/07, The News Observer
DOT unfazed by I-40 repairs
"The state Department of Transportation says it felt no pain when it was forced by the General Assembly to absorb $22.4 million in repair costs for a bungled paving job on Interstate 40 in Durham County. DOT officials could not put their finger Tuesday on any projects that were delayed, jobs that were eliminated or services that were curtailed because of the punitive budget reduction." Read more...

12/12/07, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
State DOT is in disarray, says new chief
"According to its new leader, the state Department of Transportation is a mess. Gena Abraham, eight days in office as commissioner of DOT, told Gov. Sonny Perdue Wednesday that her new staff couldn't tell her how many projects the department has on its books, giving her answers ranging from 1,100 to the latest answer, 9,211, of which 2,470 are active. She said projects from the Governor's "Fast Forward" program, for which the state authorized borrowing $3 billion to accelerate projects, are $4.2 billion over cost estimates, even after a substantial portion of them were moved off the accelerated list. Open lawsuits against the department number about 1,553, with no evidence they're being managed in a comprehensive way. The department's own accounting systems don't talk to each other, she reported. And there is no one at the department charged with following a project from start to finish and making sure it gets done." Read more...

Stop I-3 Newsletter

Click here for the latestnews from Stop I-3

Read all about our October 27 Party in Tiger, Georgia.

Our Newest Supporting Organization:

The Wilderness Society

The Mission of the Wilderness Society: "Deliver to future generations an unspoiled legacy of wild places, with all the precious values they hold: Biological diversity; clean air and water; towering forests, rushing rivers, and sage-sweet, silent deserts."


10th District Candidates: ALL opposed I-3, definitely above I-85!

Summer, 2007, North Georgia Mountains Magazine
Interstate Impasse: Where I-3 Met the Mountains
"Affection for the mountains of North Georgia, western North Carolina and east Tennessee is proving to be a unifying force. Once the news broke in June 2005 of proposed legislation to fund a $400,000 feasibility study for the two new interstates in Georgia, citizen opposition began organizing within days. Chapters of the Stop I-3 Coalition were springing up in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. By the time the feasibility funding was approved in August as part of the Transportation Equity Act of 2005, the amount had tripled to $1,200.000, and officials in Georgia’s northeastern counties of Habersham, Rabun and White had already publicly resolved to fight." Read more...

Note: STOP I-3 was unable to endorse a candidate or publish candidate positions on I-3 because of our 501(c)3 status and our focus on this one issue. Now that Dr. Broun has been certified as winner of the 10th District race with no recount, we are free to publish quotes from any official. Contact your Senators and Representatives, let them know your opposition and the overwhelming opposition to I-3 in this recent race. Please send us their quotes along with info about when and where the comment was made. Help stop the I-3 study NOW!

August 2007, TIGHT LINES, Newsletter of the Rabun Chapter (522) of Trout Unlimited, page 8, col. 1. L.
Re-printed with permission of the Editor, Doug Adams.

“What's New Elsewhere

GA – New 10th Dist Congressman, Dr Paul Broun, is a Life member of TU and enjoys the Chattooga backcountry solitude. (7/18/2007) Dr. Paul Broun Jr. won a narrow upset over Jim Whitehead, 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent. Broun will replace the late Charlie Norwood as 10th District congressman. For a newspaper story, click Before the election, Broun was asked his position on 2 important Rabun County issues.

Subject: I-3: Paul Broun replied Friday, June 29, 2007
“I am totally against I-3. I would like to de-fund the study. I will work to get GA 17 completed from US 441 to Hartwell and made into a federal highway. I discussed this issue with Dr. Lucy Bartlett of Tiger Ga. yesterday. She can fill you in with greater detail. Please vote for me Thank you. Paul Broun”

Subject: Management of the National Wild and Scenic (WSR) Chattooga River.
If elected to represent the 10th District, what is your position?

a. I believe it is public land and should be available to all recreation activities as long as it does not damage the physical environment.
b. I believe that conflicting recreation activities should be zoned so that visitors seeking to avoid conflicts and/or interference while seeking solitude and quietness will have a place to go.
c. I believe that the Forest Service process will arrive at the proper management plan and I will not interfere in the ongoing process.

Paul Broun replied Tuesday, July 03, 2007 “I am a trout fisherman. One of my favorite places to fly fish is to hike into the remote areas of the Chattooga River. I like wild fish and solitude. I fish in any stream where I can find such. I have had the experience in other places of dodging boats and rafts. I have even had some to just about run over me. There is plenty of water so that activities can be separated. I have been a life member of Trout Unlimited since the late 60's or early 70's. I'm in multiple other conservation organizations, a life member in most. I hope this answers your questions. Paul Broun”


The New York Times
August 5, 2007

The Virtues of Avoiding Interstates


"Many connoisseurs of the highway are championing the use of slow roads — back roads with scenery and history — instead of faceless Interstates." Read more...

How would YOU spend $25 million?

I-3 isn't only a destructive idea; it's an expensive idea that will draw needed Federal and State money away from our real priorities. Building just a mile of interstate through the mountains could cost an estimated $25 million dollars!! Bet you have a better idea for how all this money could be used in our mountain region or in your neighborhood!

Share your ideas for better, alternative uses for spending this much money! Go to and tell us: What would you do with a mile of I-3? When you submit your idea, the site allows you to pass it along to your friends and invite them to share their ideas.

Brochure to Circulate!

Click here to download or to request printed copies.


Check it out...

Georgia Faces a $7.7 Billion Shortfall!

"We have a funding crisis that if not addressed will turn into a funding catastrophe."

— Mike Evans, State Transportation Board Chairman

A bright idea for GADOT?

Dear Mr. Evans,
The American people are "going green." Republican Governor Schwarzenegger leads governors of five western states in an agreement to dramatically lower greenhouse gases. Christian evangelicals flock to the "Creation Care" movement. Public awareness grows that every one of us needs to make changes for the future of our children and grandchildren. One small visual might show intentions by GADOT to join in this public concern. How about changing the light bulb on your website, "What's the Big Idea?" to this energy-saving bulb?

See this Christian Science Monitor report on national and international switches to compact flourescent bulbs (CFL's): There are many alternatives to more asphalt: If every household replaced just three 60-watt incandescent light bulbs with CFLs — which lower electric bills and last 20 times longer — we would reduce as much U.S. pollution as if we took 3.5 million cars off the highways!

Articles & Quotes from the
Regional and National Press
1/9/08, Independent Mail
Congressman says interstate plan for north Georgia not economically feasible
'A new interstate highway through the mountains of North Georgia would not be economically feasible and environmentally harmful, according to U.S. Rep. Paul Broun. “(Interstate) 3 as currently proposed is just totally economically not viable,” said Rep. Broun, R-Ga.' Read more...
1/9/08, Smoky Mountain News
DOT road hearings have potential for controversy
"A public hearing on dozens of proposed road projects in the region — including the controversial Southern Loop in Jackson County, the Siler Road extension in Macon County, and Corridor K through Swain County — will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, outside Andrews." Read more...
1/8/08, Athens Banner-Herald
Broun seeks new route for proposed interstate
"An East Georgia congressman says he will work to push the route of a proposed Interstate 3 east into South Carolina, but opposition groups still are against the plan." Read more...
1/8/08, Chattanooga Times
Free Press

Despite route change, road could still impact Southern Appalachians, environmentalists say
Environmentalists in Georgia and North Carolina said Monday the proposed interstate from Savannah, Ga., to Knoxville remains a threat to the region, even if it skirts the mountains. Read more...
1/5/08, The State
I-3 might go through S.C.
"Opposition to a new freeway in Georgia has sparked plans to re-route part of the highway through western South Carolina." Read more...
12/12/07, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
State DOT is in disarray, says new chief
"According to its new leader, the state Department of Transportation is a mess. Gena Abraham, eight days in office as commissioner of DOT, told Gov. Sonny Perdue Wednesday that her new staff couldn't tell her how many projects the department has on its books, giving her answers ranging from 1,100 to the latest answer, 9,211, of which 2,470 are active." Read more...
11/29/07, Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition
'Everything is possible,' TDOT says as it prepares to write a new draft environmental impact study for Corridor K, which could adversely affect the Hiwassee River
"A poll of businesses is done 'in the blind' as a consultant asserts that 85 of them support the $2.3 billion highway construction project that somehow would traverse the rugged Ocoee River region" Read more...
11/29/07, The State
Nuke waste shipments opposed
'Two state senators want to block shipments of Italian nuclear waste through South Carolina — and they’ve asked congressional leaders for help. Democratic Sens. Joel Lourie of Columbia and Vincent Sheheen of Camden wrote the state’s congressional delegation Wednesday, saying they are concerned about “this unpredictable and potentially dangerous plan.’’ “The more people find out about this, the more they are going to become outraged,’’ Lourie said.' Read more...
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Momentum gains on Chattanooga-Asheville road
"Widening Corridor K has been debated since it first was listed as an economic development corridor by the Appalachian Regional Commission in 1965. Proponents of the road say it would bring economic prosperity to a historically poor region. Environmentalists say a road would damage the environment, destroy artifacts and cost billions of dollars better spent elsewhere." Read more...
2007 News Articles >>
2006 News Articles >>
2005 News Articles >>

Special Video Feature:
Finegan Video
Young Tennessean Shares Reasons to Oppose I-3!

Letters-to-the-Editor, Editorial Opinions, & Letters to Stop I-3
12/12/07, Knoxville News Sentinel
DOE incinerator down as waste concerns go up
"EnergySolutions plans to import about 20,000 tons of Italy's nuclear waste and to process the radioactive materials in Oak Ridge. The company's waste-treatment complex on Bear Creek Road, which includes an incinerator for low-level nuclear waste, is a just a few miles from the DOE incinerator at the East Tennessee Technology Park. Susan Gawarecki, executive director of the Local Oversight Committee, last week said importing waste from foreign countries adds to the risk quotient, whether it's from emissions from waste burning or the possibility of truck accidents." Read more...
12/7/07, The Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)
Europe should handle its own nuclear waste
"The Volunteer State already has enough radioactive waste to contend with at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and TVA nuclear power plants. U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon has been fighting for years to keep Tennessee from becoming the dumping ground for America's nuclear waste. Gordon, D-Murfreesboro, is adamantly opposed to turning Tennessee into the repository for radioactive waste from Europe. We support his efforts." Read more...
10/19/07, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Editorial Opinion by Wayne Jenkins
The profit-hungry in Ga. soon might thirst
" If we do not understand the physical reality that natural constraints will someday impose controls on Georgia's often-wasteful approach to growth, then we will face crisis." Read more...
9/20/07, Towns County Herald
From Paul Broun, US Rep,
10th District, GA

"A letter to let you know where I stand." Read more...
Columbia County News-Times
Comments omitted sponsorship of CLEAR Act, 'could mislead' on I-3
Letter from U.S. Rep. Paul C. Broun

Burma Shave Signs
Burma Shave

Get Your Own Set Today!

"We want to preserve the mountains, the forests, the streams, the lakes... Not just for those of us who are lucky enough to live here, but for everyone who ever visits them. They are a precious resource, and deserve to be protected from those who would build highways - particularly highways we neither want nor need. Maybe other parts of Interstate 3 make sense; I don't know. But it makes no sense to put another interstate through the Southern Appalachians. We live here to be off the beaten path - we don't want the pollution, the congestion, or the destruction an interstate would bring. We all deserve better."

—Janet G. McCallen, Hiawassee, Georgia

(photos by Larry Winslett)

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