Dixie Highway documentary

Post from Georgia DOT

Comment: Good Morning,

We’re in the process of completing a historic context on the Dixie Highway in Georgia to assist us with the identification and evaluation of this important historic resource, especially as it involves federal funding and road projects.  One of the public outreach components of that larger project resulted in the creation of a documentary which was aired this past Tuesday on Georgia’s public television station.  Here is a copy of the press release and a link to the hour long documentary:


Take the journey: April 7 at 8 pm on GPB…
Down the Dixie Highway

ATLANTA – Grab some snacks, put up your feet and join Georgia Department of Transportation for a road trip Down the Dixie Highway. The one-hour documentary airs Tuesday, April 7 at 8 pm on Georgia Public Broadcasting. The documentary, which is a public outreach component of the context study, provides a comprehensive evaluation of the Dixie Highway, including its eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places.

From peaches, pecans and bedspreads to attractions, motels and restaurants, the Dixie Highway allowed travelers to experience southern hospitality and helped shape Georgia’s early twentieth century history. Attractions like the original Waffle House, which was built along the Dixie Highway and Stone Mountain and Rock City, continue to beckon travelers where some “See Rock City” painted barn signs are still visible.

The Dixie Highway began in 1915 as a way to get northern automobile tourists to Miami. The combined divisions of the highway extend almost 4,000 miles from Michigan through Florida, including Georgia which had 1,500 miles of the Highway at its peak in 1926. Generally following the alignment of SR 3/US 41, the State Highway Department of Georgia (now Georgia Department of Transportation) took the lead in developing plans for local projects and bridges in 1917.

“To streamline the environmental process on more than 150 projects related to the Dixie Highway in Georgia, a context study helps us to consider the road as a whole,” said Madeline White, GDOT Office of Environmental Services (OES) Historian and Project Manager. “Previously, GDOT would look at the specific related segment. Now with the context study, GDOT will see how a potential project fits into the entire context of the Dixie Highway.”

The Dixie Highway Context Study, funded by GDOT and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), will provide a developmental history of the historic tourist highway. This includes mapping each segment using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for ease of project location, establishing criteria for evaluating other historic highways, and providing public outreach initiatives – like this documentary – to share the history of the Dixie Highway. The projected timeframe for completion is December 2015, with additional public outreach extending into 2016.

Down the Dixie Highway was created through a partnership between Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Public Broadcasting and New South Associates (the consultant for the context study). The documentary was made possible by funding from FHWA.

For more information about the OES or the Dixie Highway Context Study, please visit http://www.dot.ga.gov/BS/Programs/CulturalResources

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