The 3rd Infantry Division Highway Corridor Study consists of two phases.
Phase I is detailed in this Conceptual Feasibility Report, which examines potential corridors to connect the urban areas of Savannah, Augusta, and Knoxville. Planning-level cost estimates were developed for the conceptual corridors for multiple design levels. Implementation steps which would be required to advance a corridor through future project development stages are also presented at a conceptual level.
An optional Phase II involves specific sub-studies to support a future long-range planning study and any subsequent National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) studies. Sub-studies are optional; the need for and extent of Phase II elements will be determined later, based on the findings of Phase I.
Seven major work elements were undertaken in Phase I; outcomes of these tasks are discussed throughout the remainder of this Conceptual Feasibility Report.
Following the completion of Phase I tasks, the consultant team will submit recommendations to FHWA for optional sub-studies under Phase II. Sub-studies are intended to explore specific impacts that a potential corridor could have on a number of topics, including travel time throughout the Southeastern United States, highway safety, the human and natural environment, social groups, quality of life for regional residents, economic development, long-term highway maintenance and operational elements, security, and more.
There is currently no funding identified for any additional project development stages beyond the optional Phase II studies.
There is currently no funding identified beyond Phase II to support long range planning, environmental review, or any additional project development steps. These activities would have to be initiated at the State or regional level.
An Expert Working Group (EWG) is a group with a particular knowledge about a topic or geographic area, formed to examine a particular situation or problem, and to provide unstructured suggestions about the topic. The EWG was assembled to provide direction and technical expertise on various aspects of the 3rd Infantry Division Highway Phase I study efforts. The EWG was a panel of area transportation officials, Federal resource agencies, and an organized opposition group that met throughout the study to guide the project. The EWG served as a sounding board to weigh technical options, examine issues from multiple perspectives and, by drawing upon its collective experience, help the team solve problems. The specific organizations represented on the EWG are identified below and were invited to participate in periodic status meetings at study milestones.
EWG members represent the following agencies:
In Phase I, the purpose of the EWG was to consider the information provided by the consultant team in the context of other State/regional plans and goals to ensure that the study thoroughly considers the potential impacts of the identified corridors. If Phase II sub-studies are conducted, the EWG membership may be adjusted based on the initial findings and the direction provided.
The EWG met four times during the course of the Phase I study. Meetings were held at the FHWA Georgia Division office in Atlanta, with an online meeting option for remote participation. Input received from EWG members is incorporated throughout this report.
The first EWG meeting was held September 16, 2010. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the project team and members of the EWG; to discuss the role of the EWG and establish expectations; to provide an overview of the project history, scope of work, and schedule; and to discuss the preliminary project study area boundary, control points, public involvement plan, and data collection exercises.
The second EWG meeting was held on December 14, 2010. The purpose of the meeting was to review the updated study area and control points; to discuss the status of the public involvement and data collection tasks; and to discuss illustrative corridors.
The third EWG meeting was held on March 8, 2011. The purpose of the meeting was to review the four study corridors that were presented in the Draft Alternatives Technical Memo; to discuss the environmental constraints, fatal flaw screening, and design levels; and to present the consultant team's preliminary recommendations for corridor(s) to carry forward into the next task of preparing costs and project development steps. The need for public involvement and best format to collect input was also discussed in depth during the meeting.The fourth EWG meeting was held on April 28, 2011. The purpose of the meeting was to present information about cost estimates and project development steps that would be required if transportation decisionmakers determined that a project should advance for further study or implementation. Public involvement measures were also discussed.