“The architecture, the meaning of the people coming together in this building — it’s an extraordinary thing,” Kibler said.
Some 25 chamber members and staff came together in Washington, D.C., for their annual visit to meet federal lawmakers and discuss, among other items, the U.S. 411 connector.
Professionals with the chamber delegation hail from several fields, including education, health care, small industry and manufacturing.
Chamber representatives met over the past two days with Georgia Reps. Phil Gingrey and Tom Graves, as well as Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. All support the highway that’s been in the works for a quarter of a century, Kibler said.
“We’re as close as we’ve ever been,” he added. “It’s all coming to a head. We’ve got the support of the governor. We’ve got the support of the people in D.C.”
Kibler called the 411 Connector the Chamber’s paramount issue, saying the city and county need it for commerce. Bartow County also wants the road, Kibler said, citing its desire to relieve pressure from U.S. 41.
“This is our key topic with everyone we speak to,” Kibler said.
According to Kibler, 26 potential routes for the connector have been examined over the years. However, only its current incarnation meets the criteria necessary for federal funding.
While the chamber has the support of its federal lawmakers, a specific timeline isn’t yet in stone.
“I’m in Washington, D.C.,” Kibler quipped. “They don’t speak in days, hours — but they’re working on it.”
The chamber delegation arrived in the capital Wednesday and is scheduled to return today.