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S. 2735 (108th): 14th Amendment Interstate Highway Initiation Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 22, 2004 (Introduced).

S 2735 IS


2d Session

S. 2735

To require a study and report regarding the designation of a new interstate route from Augusta, Georgia to Natchez, Mississippi.


July 22, 2004

Mr. MILLER (for himself and Mr. CHAMBLISS) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works


To require a study and report regarding the designation of a new interstate route from Augusta, Georgia to Natchez, Mississippi.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ‘14th Amendment Interstate Highway Initiation Act’.


    It is the sense of Congress that--

      (1) the 11-State region in the Southeast that has been known historically as the ‘Southern Black Belt’ is, as of 2004, in need of the same regional economic development plans as the plans modeled by the Appalachian Regional Commission in 1965;

      (2) the Southern Black Belt has an African-American population that is twice the national average, because of historic population concentrations dating to the pre-Emancipation period;

      (3) Congress passed and the States ratified the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in 1868, guaranteeing equal rights to all persons in the United States, including those formerly held in involuntary servitude, largely with the protection and economic advancement of the residents of that region in mind;

      (4) despite the 14th Amendment, that region and the residents of that region, particularly the descendants of freed slaves, remain characterized by low employment, low incomes, low education levels, poor health, and high infant mortality;

      (5) Congress recognizes the studies, findings, and recommendations on the problems of the Southern Black Belt by the University of Georgia, Tuskegee Institute, North Carolina State University, and the University of Kentucky;

      (6) disparity in transportation infrastructure investment has been a key contributing factor to the persistent poverty and social ills of that region;

      (7) the lack of adequate east-west interstate highway access has--

        (A) provided a significant impediment to travel throughout the region;

        (B) served as a severe obstacle to the attraction of industry and jobs; and

        (C) been a detriment to public health and transportation safety;

      (8) a new interstate highway designated ‘United States Interstate 14’ should be constructed through the heart of the Southern Black Belt, linking Augusta, Georgia to Natchez, Mississippi, and following a route generally defined through Macon and Columbus, Georgia, Montgomery, Alabama, and Laurel and Natchez, Mississippi; and

      (9) in light of the promise of economic parity made by the United States to that region in the 14th Amendment, that new interstate highway should be known as the ‘14th Amendment Highway’.


    Not later than December 31, 2004, the Secretary of Transportation shall complete a study and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that describes the steps and estimated funding necessary to construct a new interstate route to be designated as ‘Interstate Route I-14’ and known as the 14th Amendment Highway, from Augusta, Georgia to Natchez, Mississippi (formerly designated the Fall Line Freeway in the State of Georgia).