Feds eyeing possible interstate through Tenn., Ga.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - The Federal Highway Administration is studying a possible new interstate that would connect Savannah, Ga., to Knoxville, Tenn., despite opposition from groups that say the project could destroy pristine lands.

Government spokesman Doug Hecox told the Chattanooga Times Free Press the study of the project, which would be called Interstate 3, started in June, but there's no timeline for the completion.

The administration will use the study as a "resource that would inform discussion," he said.

But, Hecox said, that doesn't necessarily mean the interstate is going to be built. The study will look at routes, costs and impacts on tourism, industry and the environment.

Executive Director of the Stop I-3 Coalition, Jim Grode, said the interstate would devastate the environment and kill downtown areas as business shifts toward exit ramps.

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