Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
A Report to Congress as directed by Section 1927 of the "Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)."
Section 1927 of SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59, 14th Amendment Highway and 3rd Infantry Division Highway, requires the Secretary of Transportation to submit a Report to Congress that describes the steps and estimated funding necessary to designate and construct a route for the 3rd Infantry Division Highway. Section 1927 specifies the highway should extend from Savannah, Georgia to Knoxville, Tennessee, by way of Augusta, Georgia.
The 3rd Infantry Division Highway report looks at four potential corridors linking Savannah to Knoxville, and estimates the cost to construct highways of various design levels along the corridors. The construction costs include engineering (including design, environmental, and public involvement work), right-of-way, utilities, construction, and contingencies. The design levels consist of: 1) a minimal build option that assures continuous connection; 2) a "super-2" design level that provides an enhanced two-lane highway with a third lane, as needed, for turning, passing, truck climbing, etc.; 3) an arterial design level that provides a four-lane highway with some access control; and, 4) a full Interstate System standard design level.
Three of the four corridors have significant enough problems to make them infeasible or unreasonable for further study, such as impacts to National Parks, extreme mountainous terrain, or being too far from the cities specified by Congress. Planning-level cost estimates were developed for the least problematic segments, and range from $564 million for the minimal build alternative to $5.9 billion for construction to full Interstate standards.
The report does not recommend a particular design or alignment or whether this corridor should proceed to further stages of project development or construction. The report will not lead to the construction or any highway improvement unless the relevant States and metropolitan planning organizations decide to advance plans and programs to do so. Currently, neither Tennessee nor Georgia has the 3rd Infantry Division Highway listed as a priority on their long-range transportation plans, nor has any construction funding been identified.