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

Special Features
Assorted Presentations and Items of Interest

Look and Listen! Young Tennessean Shares Resons to Oppose I-3!

Elvis Joins Stop I-3!

Wheelspin: The Virtues of Avoiding Interstates

Stopping Interstates for Dummies

Toxic Waste Highways:
Nature's Worst Nightmare

Soldiers, Vet’s Parent Write to STOP I-3


Look and Listen!
Young Tennessean Shares Reasons to Oppose I-3!

Chance Finegan is a high school junior in Cookeville, Tennessee and a member of Cookeville High School SPEAK — Students Promoting Environmental Action and Knowledge. CHS SPEAK was the first organization in TN to support the STOP I-3 Coalition. Last May, they circulated a petition concerning I-3 at CHS, collecting close to 500 signatures and mailing them to the Federal Highway Administration, Gov. Bredeson, TDOT, and their Senators.

Chance plans to become a park ranger or biologist with the National Park Service. Later in life, he hopes to run for political office or go into environmental law. He is a National Park Service VIP and has turned in his paperwork to start volunteering with his local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office. Chance created this video as a project for media class.

Founded in 2004 and fifty-members strong, CHS SPEAK is "dedicated to raising awareness in our community about the environment and taking concrete steps to better it." See to see CHS SPEAK's next event and latest plans! (Cookeville is about 90 miles west of Knoxville on I-40, 90 miles east of Nashville and home to Tennesse Tech University).

Elvis Joins Stop I-3!

The Stop I-3 Coalition was in full swing at this years 8th annual Big "E" Festival held in Cornelia, GA on August 3rd and 4th. Our hostess with the mostest Joni Mabe was spectacular as "Queen of the King" and MC of the Elvis competition. Many folks showed up to enjoy the music while munching on some of Elvis' favorite foods like peanut butter and banana sandwiches and moon pies. The Stop I-3 Coalition spoke with many of the people in attendance and distributed buttons, brochures and bumper stickers. Petitions were also signed in an on going effort to keep our officials updated with the large number of folks opposed to the proposed Interstate. As you can see even Elvis is opposed to I-3!

The New York Times
AUTOMOBILES | August 5, 2007

Wheelspin: 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...

Stopping Interstates for Dummies

Stopping Interstates
for Dummies

PowerPoint Presentation

Web Presentation

Thanks to Jessica Burr for sharing her class project, "Stopping Interstates for Dummies." Jessica is a historical preservation student at Savannah College of Art and Design whose family lives in our mountains.

Note: The ninth grade niece of one of our board members was given an assignment of writing a paper on a controversial subject. Having well established roots in these mountains, she chose to write about I-3, entitled TOXIC WASTE HIGHWAYS; NATURE’S WORST NIGHTMARE. We surely invite other submissions from any old enough to write through high school age.

Toxic Waste Highways:
Nature’s Worst Nightmare

by Hanna Ryberg
St. Joseph, Michigan


Toxic Waste Highways, Outline

I. Introduction and attention getter.
II. Thesis statement
III. History and proposal of I3
IV. Natural destruction due to I3, and who benefits and who loses.
V. Economic turmoil and cost of I3.

Conclusion and wrap up.


Imagine that you are in your favorite place in the world right now. It could be, a warm beach, a freezing ski hill, a park on a perfect summer day, or, in my case, the southern Appalachian Mountains in Georgia. Now, picture your favorite place being blown to bits, and created into a highway that may be used to transport toxic waste. Well, that nightmare is my reality.

Roads and highways are a big part of southern life- but these forms of transportation, have a tremendous effect on the environment. A toxic waste highway that runs through the Appalachian mountains, will not only kill the wildlife and environment, they will also destroy the tourism and agricultural industries of the south.

In 2005, Congressman Charlie Norwood re-introduced plans for an interstate (originally proposed by Max Burns) that would go through Savannah, Georgia to Knoxville, Tennessee, by way of Augusta. This proposed bill is known as Interstate Three, and is said to link a nuclear weapons complex in Oakridge, Tennessee, to the sight of the Savannah River. (Chattooga Conservatory).

The Federal Highway Administration was given funds for studies being completed on two highway corridors, I-14 and I-3. Interstate three, was originally going to cost $400,000, but has been recently increased to $1.32 million (forest coalition). The total cost in taxpayer dollars for both of the interstates combined is $2.64 million (Burr). The proposed interstate three will cost billions of dollars, and will only benefit road builders and oil companies. The Georgia Legislature believes it will “bring new business”, but the only business the highways will bring, are gas stations and truck stops (Chattooga Conservatory).

Interstate three will also have a major effect on the environment. The original study on I-3, said that the interstate would run through three National Forests, in three different states. Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee are the homes of the Chattahoochee, Nantala and Cherokee National Forests (forest coalition). The great Smokey Mountains National Park, Appalachian Trail, and the Blue Ridge Mountains are also potentially in I-3’s path. Interstate Three will also hurt local and regional water, air, archeological and natural resources (Burr).

As you can see, the preservation of our mountains is very important. After all, we don’t want our age to be known to future historians as the age of the bulldozer and the exterminator; and in many parts of our country, the building of a highway would have about the same result upon vegetation and human structures as the passage of a tornado, or the blast of an atomic bomb (Mumford). The interstate will leave in its wake a destruction of natural beauty, and the industries that depend on tourism will suffer greatly. Interstate three will bring environmental and economic disaster in the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.


Burr, Jessica. Stopping Interstates For Dummies. Date unknown.

Chattooga Conservatory. “Stop Proposed Interstate Three”. 2005

Forest Coalition. No title.

Mumford, Lewis. Quote on Stopping Interstates For dummies. Date unknown.


My belief on the topic hasn’t altered at all. I still am strongly against the government blowing up nature’s beauty that has been here longer then we have. All people care about these days, is their job and money. No one seems to care about the environment anymore. Even the people in the highest positions in our county, don’t care at all about the environment. First of all George Bush personally liked the idea of interstate three so he obviously doesn’t care about the environment. Second of all, most people in congress care about the revenue generated by a highway; then the wildlife.

Several things in life you can rebuild, but natural beauty, once it is destroyed it is gone forever. Those mountains in Georgia have been a part of my family for generations. We actually own mountain property that was the Cherokee Indians land, and my great-grandparents hand built home still stands on that land. Whenever we go there I feel like home, and if it is destroyed, it will break my heart. My family today also goes hiking in those mountains and we have done that since I was a little girl. It’s a big part of who I am, and I always look forward to hiking when we go there, and if it is not there in a couple years, I wont be able to share those memories with my children.

I have learned that research needs to be done over a period of time, so your reports turn out better. I also learned that there are more ways to find information than google.

My view of research now, is also that it can be easier when you know the resources that are available to you, and how to use them correctly. It makes it faster, and less time consuming.

Soldiers, Vet’s Parent Write to STOP I-3

Naming Highway for 3rd Infantry Not an Honor

"I'm a veteran of US 3rd Army — this is dishonor to all who served in the US 3rd Army. It breaks my heart and brings me to tears. I did not invade Iraq so the government can destroy even more of the natural beauty of my home state."
— a Marine veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom

"I am not able to do more than a letter as I am currently deployed to Iraq. I'll be back in April. Hiking...[location near his home] in May."

"I want my grandchildren to enjoy my mountains."

Mother Says 3rd Infantry Vets Have Other Needs

"...about the ‘3rd Infantry highway’. I am just furious about that! My son is based at [name of base] and has just returned from a one-year tour in Iraq. He is living in a single-wide trailer that has been converted to a duplex (which is not even on the base) because... [the base] does not have adequate housing for the soldiers. I am not happy that he has to live in such an unsafe condition, especially following a tour in Iraq. The reason I am bringing this up is that I feel any money put towards the 3rd Infantry needs to be spent on adequate housing for our soldiers, not on a stupid road. Can you imagine how many other parents must feel the same way?...I spoke with my son about it and he has not heard anything mentioned. He also doesn't know why such a road is needed. The soldiers of course would not be able to participate in any protesting, etc. but their parents sure could!"

A Better Way to Honor 3rd Infantry?

" The ironic twist in the I-3 story is the proposed name of the planned highway (I-3). If I understand correctly, the number 3 was chosen to honour the veterans of the 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart and their recent involvement in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was not with the 3rd ID in the early days of the invasion, but I was with the 4th ID right behind them. As a soldier, I rather take offence to the idea of naming the newest scar across the face of the Southern Appalachians in honour of any veteran. Why not create a 3rd ID Blue Ridge Wildlife Refuge/ State Park as a way of paying tribute to the soldiers who served and as a gift to posterity? "

(click here to check out other I-3 postings in the blogosphere)

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