I-16/I-75 Improvement Project
Advisory Committee Meeting Summary
March 2, 2000

Advisory Committee Participants:
Maryel Battin, Macon Heritage
Lynn Cass, Macon Bibb Co. Transit
Sid Cherry, Downtown Council
Conie Mac Darnell, New Town Macon
Jim David, Ocmulgee Natíl Monument
Elliott Dunwody (stand in for Gene Dunwody),
Dunwoody, Beeland, Azar, Walsh & Matthews
Daniel Fischer, Caution Macon
Regina McDuffie, Centreplex
Paul Nagle, Chamber of Commerce
Anita Ponder, Macon City Council
Rev. David Stanley, Assn. of Black Ministers
Johnny Wingers, Bibb Co. EMA

Project Team Participants:
Joseph Palladi, GDOT
Angela Alexander, GDOT
Rebecca Gifford, GDOT
David Miller, GDOT
Genetha Rice-Singleton, GDOT
David Grachen, FHWA
Brad Hale, MAAI
Spooner Phillips, MAAI
Todd Hill, MAAI
Karen Serio, MAAI
Melissa Moreland Bourbeau, MAAI
Liz Sanford, Sycamore Consulting
Denise Watts, Sycamore Consulting

Discussion Summary

The first meeting of the Citizen Advisory Committee for the I-16/I-75 Improvement project was called to order by Mr. Joseph Palladi, who explained the purpose of the meeting, presented a brief summary of the public comments received to-date, and presented an overview of planned public involvement activities.  He explained some of the steps of the plan development process, stating that project alternatives would be identified, including a no-build option.  He also noted that the no-build option means that current safety and operational issues will go unaddressed.

Ms. Liz Sanford then reviewed the ground rules for the meeting and asked participants for their goals, expectations and values concerning the project, which are listed below:
  • Need to address traffic problems including weaving, Spring St. merging and congestion
  • How long will it take to do this project?
  • Prefer concrete barriers instead of solid lines to divide opposing traffic
  • Need to improve overall safety
  • Macon needs a "front door"; good first impression from interstate
  • Improve access to downtown Macon
  • Minimize impacts to river
  • We have opportunity to improve Macon, to move rail and create transportation corridor and to reclaim waterfront.  This is the time.
  • Aesthetics.  Seeing freeway from city.  Maximize capability of freeway to alleviate traffic on local roads. Enhance other aspects of Macon.  Relieve traffic hot spots.
  • Landscaping. No kudzu!  Put wildflowers in budget.
  • Address floodplain.
  • Elevation questions.  Minimize impacts to neighborhoods.
  • Maintain Centreplex facility and property.  Enhance ingress/egress for special events.  Minimize traffic impacts of events.  Access to building.
  • Be connected to downtown, not divided.  Look to future.
  • Concern about impacts to monument, a world-class resource.  Greenway, aesthetics, visual environment.
  • Issues include truck traffic, avoiding Grey Highway and routing through town.  Design to discourage this movement.
  • Logging trucks.

A presentation was made by Brad Hale, which included an overview of the scope and schedule for the project.  He informed the group that the preferred concept would be selected later this spring and that the draft environmental document should be completed in Fall 2000.  Mr. Hale also reviewed the existing conditions of the area, including environmental features and key city features such as tourist attractions.  He pointed out that the accident rates for 1997 and 1998 were double the state average for the same period.  In particular, Spring Street is a hot spot with 77 accidents during that time frame.

Six preliminary concept maps were then distributed for discussion between the project team and committee members.  Mr. Palladi and Mr. Hale explained the implications of each concept and responded to questions from committee members.  Time restraints did not allow for ample discussion time, therefore, committee members were asked to provide more detailed comments on the six preliminary concepts at the next meeting.

"Parking Lot" Discussion Items

Several topics arose that could not be addressed at this meeting due to time limitations.  However, they will be addressed at a later date.  These include:
  • Macon's potential non-attainment status and impact on this project.
  • Request to provide aerials and elevations as visual aids at public meetings.
  • How to factor in the Fall Line Freeway.
  • Information on origin and destination studies.
  • Major economic development program and its incorporation into the project.
  • Fly-over ramp for Emory to I-16.
  • Relocation of I-16

Committee members were informed of the current update to the Macon Transportation Plan and encouraged to attend future public meetings for that project.  The meeting was adjourned to a date and location to be determined.

If you have any questions or comments concerning this summary, please contact the project team by way of the project web site or hotline.

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