New highway is good news for Georgiana

Published 3:10 pm Wednesday, November 19, 2008

While small towns like Georgiana face the obstacles created by a struggling U.S. economy, news of pending construction on a nearby highway and its economic potential is certainly welcome.

The 4.66-mile stretch of highway, which connects Highways 106 and 55, will take approximately two years to complete.

That’s two years that can be spent recruiting business and industry to the south Butler County community.

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Any such businesses that choose to call Georgiana home will provide a much-needed boost to sales tax revenue, the life-blood of a municipality.

Increased revenues mean increased services. Better facilities, greater protection from crime and fire, improved support for local education.

Butler County and Georgiana city leaders have an opportunity to realize these benefits by investing time and effort, perhaps even money if it helps maximize the growth potential of the coming highway.

According to Georgiana Mayor Mike Middleton, a good deal of infrastructure has already been funded by the state in the form of relocated pipes for better water and sewer access to the highway.

Additionally, the connector highway promises to alleviate traffic along Highway 106, especially near its intersection at U.S. 31, which has long been a troublesome spot for accidents.

The majority of these accidents involve more local traffic than out-of-towners, according to former Mayor Lynn Harold Watson and his successor, Middleton, elected in August.

But eliminating as much traffic as possible on U.S. 31 will increase safety for parents, teachers and children going to the new Georgiana School.

Highland Home High School in Crenshaw County has been dealing with traffic concerns for years on U.S. 331, which is heavily traveled because it serves as a main artery to the Hyundai plant in Montgomery.

Although the new highway won’t come into play for at least two years, any opportunity to re-direct a big bulk of traffic away from a K-12 school should be welcomed.