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Memphis-Atlanta corridor won’t detour to Shoals

By M.J. Ellington · (334) 262-1104

MONTGOMERY — The Memphis-to-Atlanta corridor road plan is not on a detour after all.

Following a Friday afternoon telephone conference call with members of the Memphis/ Huntsville/Atlanta Highway Task Force, Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said leaders involved in putting the plan together still agree with the route approved by state and federal transportation planners.

Confusion arose earlier in the week after a story ran in a Florence newspaper about a new House member’s hope either for a new spur road or interstate-quality upgrades on an existing road to connect the Shoals area to Interstate 565.

“We are certainly committed to the agreed-upon route,” Orr said. “The misunderstanding came from terminology, not from plans for a different route from Florence to I-565,” he said.

Steve Holt with the Shoals Chamber of Commerce said his area needs a limited access road to connect to the interstate for economic development and tourism, but the current Memphis-to-Atlanta plan will accommodate that.

Holt said Rep. Mike Curtis, D-Greenhill, and Rep. Tammy Irons, D-Florence, also endorse the current corridor plan. Terminology in an interview with Curtis apparently confused the issue, Holt said.

His area’s need for a modern highway link is real, but the area’s commitment to the existing corridor plan remains, Holt said.

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