Critical Issues Affecting the - Ocmulgee Old Fields

Letter to Editor - RDC Study is Bad

-----Original Message-----

From: John Wilson []

Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 1998 1:35 PM

To: editor Macon Telegraph

Letter to the Editor - Macon Telegraph

Dear Editor,

A recent article explained how the Eisenhower Parkway Extension was having trouble getting federal approval because Ga. DOT studies showed it wouldn't have enough traffic to justify its cost. I'm sure that's a shock to freeway supporters who have believed the Extension would generate much more traffic and jobs for Macon. Some supporters are blaming the road's problems on government red tape and Congressman Chambliss is even talking of streamlining the approval process. Meanwhile, the Ga. DOT is trying to justify the project by adding the road's economic development potential into the equation.

But they are not using a study by the Middle Georgia Regional Development Center (RDC) which claimed building the Eisenhower Extension would generate a $2.4 billion economic impact on Bibb County. The study received front page publicity in April when it was released at a press conference where Congressman Chambliss proclaimed "The report that we're here to view today is really the proof in the pudding as to why you need this project." Well, now, we find out that the DOT's own consultants, after reviewing the report, feel it was not "objective" and the number of jobs created and the economic impact multiplier was "inflated."

The public and our elected leaders should also know that the RDC:

1. Stated the construction cost to be $150 million (142% higher than the DOT's $106 million estimate)

2. Estimated 3,000 new permanent jobs while DOT consultants estimated 969 new jobs.

3. Estimated 6,300 construction jobs (enough for everyone to hold hands for the entire road length).

4. Started all jobs (and their impacts), including resultant growth jobs, on the first day of construction.

5. Used a 3.3 ripple effect multiplier when DOT consultants say a 1.4 to 1.8 is more appropriate.

6. Was based on a DOT survey in which only 31% of those sent surveys responded.

6. Counts potential development along existing interstates as being due to building the Extension.

7. Sent the study to the pro-freeway group and incorporated their responses into the study prior to its public release.

The RDC's study deceived both the public and our elected officials as to the value and need to spend multi-millions of taxpayer money on a public project. Given the choice between government agencies promoting  government spending regardless of the facts or having government regulations which require careful study and analysis of a projects' costs and benefits before any funding can be approved, I'll choose red tape any day.

Yours, John F. Wilson

2340 Clayton St.   Macon, GA 31204    743-5240

Back to Critical Issues

A Call to Action

Senator Coverdell has been leaning on the FHWA to get the FLF project completed. Please send an e-mail to Senator Coverdell at The e-mail should express opposition to the Ga. DOT preferred route, A-I, and ask that Coverdell require Ga. DOT to find an alternative route. Thanks.

Coverdell has his own web page with an e-mail link if people want to do that. Please do this as soon as possible and send e-mails out to others asking the same.

You can help preserve the Old Fields and its irreplacable cultural resources. Write to the Secretary of Interior and tell him there are reasonable and feasible alternatives to construction of this road through the Old Fields. Tell him that you oppose any attempt desicrate these sacred lands.

Bruce Babbitt
US Department of Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

Write to your Congressman and Senators and tell them federal money should not be appropriated for construction of a road through the Ocmulgee Old Fields. Ask them to oppose any legislation that would exempt this project from the requirements of section 4(F) of the Department of Transportation Act. Section 4(F) requires that Georgia DOT demonstrate that there are no feasible and prudent alternatives to the proposed route.

For addresses of your representatives in Washington, visit the Capweb.

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