I made a prediction over 10 years ago that the demise of the Northern Arc spelled the death of communities east of Canton along Highway 20. I said then the only alternative would be to four-lane Highway 20 from Interstate 75 to Interstate 85 for future east west car and truck traffic.
At the time, a group called the Northern Arc Task Force got Gov. Sonny Perdue to promise to kill the Northern Arc, which he was all too happy to do. Governor Sonny didn’t care how long anyone sits in traffic in Cherokee county and he could use the money to build “Go Fish” museums.
Traffic is so bad at times on Highway 20, it can take an hour to drive from Canton to Free Home. Don’t complain, that is what the Northern Arc Task Force wanted.
Now, we have a group called “The State Route 20 Committee” which is the same as the old Northern Arc Task Force. Robert Chambers the spokesman for the group said “Committee members are most supportive of widening the existing road.”
That’s nice, but GDOT said “Widening would wipe out potentially one side, maybe both sides of structures on existing Highway 20.” Really, surprised? Go figure.
Here is another prediction. Buffington, Macedonia, Lathemtown and Free Home will be destroyed by widening Highway 20 to 4 lanes.
Historic Philadelphia Baptist Church and Buffington School, gone, the beloved Bells store, bulldozed, Macedonia Church and cemetery, no more, Lathemtown gutted, Old Free Home store and Traditions destroyed.
If we want to save anything of these communities, maybe we should organize a committee to watch the shenanigans of The State Route 20 Committee before nothing is left and we all are stuck in four lanes of gridlock.