I-85 Project Analyzed

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Volkert and Associates has been working with the Alabama Department of Transportation to analyze the best possible route for the Interstate 85 extension.

It would connect the existing Interstate 85 outside Montgomery, Ala., to Interstate 20/59 near the Mississippi state line.

The group displayed maps of the proposed areas at a public meeting Thursday in Demopolis, Ala.

The proposed area is 140 miles east to west and about 40 miles north to south. Airports, wetlands, industrial parks and historic areas would be avoided.

Planner will continue these public meetings every five months until a decision is made, probably in the spring of 2008.

Interstate 85 currently runs through Charlotte, North Carolina, to Atlanta to Montgomery. However, the extension is not proposed to run through any major cities.

The project would cost about $10 million a mile, but $100 million of the $1.5 billion project would be funded federally through Congress.

The next public meeting is slated for April 2006.