Deal's Gap and the Dragon Endangered
Have you had the pleasure of visiting Deal's Gap and riding the Dragon's Tail? This coveted stretch of US 129 in Smoky Mountains crosses from North Carolina to Tennessee state line and has 318 curves in 11 miles. The area surrounding Deal's Gap has become mecca to motorcyclists. There is a noticeable increase of motorcycle tourists and related business as each year passes. If you have not yet challenged the Dragon you may wish to plan a trip soon as some legislators in Washington DC have plans of replacing it with Interstate 3.
The proposed corridor of I-3 would begin in Savannah and end in Knoxville . The proposed corridor would past through North Carolina along NC 69 and US 64 to Murphy. The freeway would then follow US 19-129 to the western edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and continue to follow US 129 to I-40 and I-75 just west of Knoxville.
This route would not only destroy miles of scenic highways but would also negatively impact a botanical paradise. The construction of this proposed interstate would likely be wrought with landslides and cost overruns. I would suggest that federal dollars slated for this project would be better spent on Katrina recovery rather than this pork project.
You can help by writing your Representative and Senators in Washington . Ask your elected officials to withhold funding or change the route of this proposed interstate. Join your state motorcyclist rights organization to help stay aware of threats of this nature and to better organize opposition to these threats. Learn more about this issue and how to help at stopi-3.org, abatesc.com, cba-abatenc.org, and abatega.com.
The designation of I-3 does not fit the naming convention of interstates and could change; Lower odd numbered interstates run north-south on the west coast. The proposed interstate could become designated as part of I-81 or even I-24; I-26 follows a similar trajectory to the north of this proposed interstate. Be prepared in case the name of this controversial project is changed.
ABATE of SC State Coordinator