I-16 stretches 166.81 miles from the port city of Savannah to its western terminus at I-75 in Macon.
Project Type:Limited Access Road Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:70,000 Length (mi):167.00
Economic Distress:0.98 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):126 Population Growth Rate (%):5.91
Employment Growth Rate (%):10.91 Market Size:104,219 Airport Travel Distance:32.6431 Topography:5
Region:Southeast State:WA County:County
City:Savannah to Macom Urban/Class Level:Metro Local Area:N/A
Impact Area:County Transportation System:N/A GIS Lat/Long:32.424977 / -82.449763
Initial Study Date:N/A Post Constr. Study Date:2002
Constr. Start Date:1963 Constr. End Date:1978
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): N/A Planned Cost (YOE $):68,000,000
Actual Cost (YOE $):68,000,000 Actual Cost (curr $):361,496,395
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
|Income (in $M's)||192443000.00||128928000.00||321371000.00|
|Output (in $M's)||591534000.00||396300000.00||987834000.00|
Interstate 16 is a four-lane, east-west highway in Georgia, stretching 170 miles from the port city of Savannah to its western terminus at Macon. I-16 was created to facilitate east-west goods movement between the Port in Savannah and the rest of Georgia. It connects to I-75 in the west, which provides access to the north and south. Construction on I-16 began in March of 1963 and the final section opened to traffic in September of 1978. The interstate has become a major commuter route for individuals living in counties surrounding Savannah. According to employment and population statistics, metro and non-metro counties along I-16 grew faster than respective counties in the rest of the state. In large part, this growth was due to the attraction of major distribution centers such as Home Depot, APS/Schneider, and Wal-Mart, which located along I-16 to capitalize on easy access to the port in Savannah. It is estimated that I-16 attracted approximately 8,600 jobs to the corridor.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
Interstate 16 stretches roughly 170 miles from downtown Savannah to Macon, passing through the counties of Chatham, Effingham, and Bryan, which comprise the Savannah Metropolitan Statistical Area(MSA), as well as Bulloch, Bleckley, Candler, Laurens, Treutlen, Wilkinson, Emanuel, Twiggs, and Bibb (the latter two of which comprise the Macon MSA). Apart from the Savannah and Macon metropolitan areas, the region traversed by I-16 is mostly rural. Within the Savannah area, I-16 intersects with I-516 and I-95, the main north-south highway in the eastern United States. In the Macon area, I-16 terminates at I-75, which heads north to Atlanta. I-16 provides the most direct route from Savannah to Macon.
The Port of Savannah ranks with New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, and Charleston as one of the top container ports on North America's Atlantic coast. Container throughput increased seven times from 1980 to 2003(201,000 to 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs), far out-pacing nationwide container traffic, which grew four times in the same period. The growth was even more explosive in the latter half of the decade. By 2007, the Port of Savannah's container throughput was 2.6 million TEUs. Almost all of the containers are handled at the Garden City Terminal, the largest single-terminal container facility in the eastern U.S. (1,200 acres). The terminal supports distribution centers for some of the largest retailers in America, including Wal-Mart, Pier-1 Imports, Home Depot, Target, Best Buy, Dollar Tree, Hugo Boss, IKEA, Kmart-Sears and, Lowe's. The terminal is located about six miles from both I-16 and I-95. The on-terminal intermodal container transfer facility (the James D. Mason ICTF) provides overnight rail service to Atlanta.
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
The Port of Savannah historically has been the main economic engine of Georgia's coastal region. In addition to goods movement, tourism is also a major industry in Savannah. Forestry and agriculture are significant industries in many of the I-16 counties ? forestry in Effingham (mostly softwood sawlogs and pulpwood) and agriculture in Bulloch and Candle counties (pecans, cotton, peaches, onions). Fort Stewart, the largest Army installation east of the Mississippi River, is located in Bryan County. Georgia Southern University is located in Bullock County. Bibb County is home to Macon (population 97,000), which is the economic center of mid-Georgia. Value added from manufacturing in the Macon metropolitan area was $4.5 billion in 1997, second in Georgia to the Atlanta region ($22.7 billion), and larger than the Savannah metropolitan area ($1.8 billion). Until the boll weevil devastated the Georgia cotton industry in the 1920's, Macon had a large concentration of cotton mills. It remains an industrial center, with the world's largest zipper factory (YKK), and as well as other manufacturing and distribution uses.
Construction on I-16 began in 1963 on a 16.2 mile segment in Laurens and Treutlen counties. The interstate opened in sections over the twelve-year period between 1966 and 1978. The eastern-most 28 miles in the Savannah area opened in late 1967 and the highway was completed in the Macon area in 1968. The final section of I-16, 25.5 miles in Emanuel, Candler, and Bulloch counties, opened in 1978.
To speed construction, the State of Georgia used bond revenue to complete the highway and was later reimbursed for the principal out of the federal Highway Trust Fund. The main impetus for I-16 was to facilitate goods movement between the Port of Savannah and the I-75 corridor, and up to Atlanta. I-16 bypassed most of the intermediary towns between Savannah and Macon, making it more efficient than the existing US-80, the Dixie Overland Highway that runs roughly parallel to the north. I-16 is also the only inland-bound interstate highway from Georgia's Atlantic coast, so it acts as a hurricane evacuation route.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
I-16 is the main freight thoroughfare between Atlanta and Savannah. It provides a direct route between the large Atlanta market and the Port of Savannah. Many major distribution centers have capitalized on this access and located along I-16. In addition, the interstate contributed to the growth of bedroom communities in counties outside Macon and Savannah. I-16 greatly improved inter-county mobility by improving safety and reduced travel times for commuters and tourists throughout the 12-county region.
Despite an increase in overall mobility brought about by I-16, improved access has not occurred throughout the corridor with the more metropolitan areas having better overall access compared to the more rural counties. The Central Georgia Corridor Study, Phase I Report, ranks the counties along the I-16 corridor based on ?transportation accessibility? as follows: excellent (Bibb, Chatham), good (Bryan, Bulloch, Effingham, Twiggs), average (Bleckley, Candler, Laurens, Treutlen, Wilkinson), and low (Emanuel).
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
I-16 was developed to connect the Port of Savannah to the Atlanta market, via I-75. The highway helped Savannah become one of the largest container ports in North America, contributed to that city's growing tourism industry and opened up all of southeast Georgia for growth and economic development by providing access from Savanna to I-75. According to employment and population statistics, Bryan County, which had a population of about 25,000 in 2002 and is within the Savannah MSA, saw a 420% increase in jobs (and a 290% increase in population) between 1969 and 2002. (The increase for the State of Georgia during this time was 130% in jobs and 90% in population.) Bullock County (a non-metropolitan county just outside the Savannah MSA, with a population of 60,000) had increases in jobs and population of 140% and 80% respectively between 1969 and 2002. (Both are double the growth rate for non-metropolitan Georgia as a whole).
Many major retail chains have sited distribution centers along I-16. Today the corridor is home to 17 major distribution and subsidiary centers. Crossroads Business Center, a large distribution center park along I-16 is home to distribution facilities for Pier 1 Imports, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart. Sites in the more rural communities adjacent to Savannah along I-16 have the advantage of being within one hour of the port, but have lower land prices and are not within the geography affected by hurricanes. Although the Daimler Chrysler van plant that was planned for the Pooler area, just outside of Savannah, was never built, Pooler, at the I-16/I-95 junction, is emerging as a commercial center in coastal Georgia.
In addition to distribution centers, I-16 has become a tourism corridor. The Savannah tourism industry depends heavily upon the access that I-16 provides visitors. A 2003 Georgia statute re-designated I-16 east of I-95 as "Jim Gillis-Historic Savannah Parkway." At Exit 61 in Dublin County, which is roughly at the halfway point between Atlanta and Savannah, a Welcome Center was built in 2002.
Lastly, an increasing numbers of employees commute into Savannah via I-16 from neighboring counties. The historically agricultural and lumber-producing counties around Savannah and Macon have become bedroom communities for the MSA's workforce, transforming the land use and increasing land values.
The majority of the highway's economic and land use impacts have occurred in the counties 20-30 miles outside of Savannah. In a number of the more rural western counties, such as Emanuel, Treutlen, Wilkinson, and Twiggs, economic growth has been slower despite proximity to I-16. Each of these counties has populations under 11,000 (three counties are below 5,000). For these counties, the advantages of interstate access may not be enough to offset other negative economic factors, such as the decline of the US tobacco and textile industries. In fact, some interviewees speculate that in portions of these counties, I-16 suppressed economic activity by facilitating retail activity outside the area that would otherwise remain in the county, by diverting through traffic from non-interstate highways, or by acting as a physical barrier to commerce. Overall, is estimated that I-16 has attracted roughly 8,600 jobs to the corridor since it opened
I-16 was constructed during the 1970's, which coincided with a trend in suburbanization. The suburban counties adjacent to Savannah and Macon became popular ?bedroom? communities for Savannah and Macon. Their growth was supported by 1-16, which provided easy access to these once-agrarian counties.
Recently, the I-16 Corridor Alliance, a marketing partnership comprised of representatives from each of the I-16 counties as well as the Georgia Ports, has been heavily marketing the corridor as not only a transportation corridor, but also an ideal location for distribution centers. These marketing efforts capitalize on the access to the ports and I-75 provided by I-16.
Bachtel, Douglas C. An Analysis of the Governor's Road Improvement Program (GRIP) for Georgia DOT. Department of Housing and Consumer Economics. University of Georgia
Rioja, Felix. Road Construction and Regional Development. FRP Report No. 33, July 1999. Georgia State University.
Humphreys, Jeffrey M. The Economic Benefits of the Governor's Road Improvement Program (GRIP), October 23, 2003. Selig Center for Economic Growth Terry College of Business, University of Georgia.
Central Georgia Corridor Study, Central Georgia Corridor (HPC6) Study Home, http://www.dot.state.ga.us/DOT/plan-rog/planning/studies/centralgeorgia/index.shtmlhttp://www.maconworks.com/downloads/I-16-Corridor-Alliance-082708.pdf http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/econdev/i16ga.htm http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/econDev/summary.htm http://www.dot.state.ga.us/INFORMATIONCENTER/PROGRAMS/studies/Pages/CentralGeorgia.aspx
OrganizationGeorgia Ports Authority Development Authority of Jeffersonville-Twiggs County, Director of the I-16 Corridor Alliance University of Georgia Savannah Economic Development Authority GDOT Office of Planning Swainsboro-Emanuel County Joint Development Macon Economic Development Commission Dublin-Laurens County Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority