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Old 09-25-2018, 07:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA Survivor View Post
There will never be anything on the SC side except maybe a future expanded port. There is not much land to be developed, really we could abandon Hutchinson Island make it a resort accessible by ferry only with no motor vehicles and take the bridge down and save a ton of money for the state of Georgia.
There was enough commuter traffic for a serious bridge in the early 1950s when the old span was built, back when "metro Savannah"
had only 160,000 people, before Savannah had tourists, when Bluffton was just a hick crossroads and Hilton Head not much more, and Hutchinson Island had nothing on it. There's plenty more traffic now, plus a hotel and convention center on Hutch. A big lobbying effort in the late '70s/early '80s -- in Savannah and the Atlanta statehouse -- got the old Talmadge replaced by the modern span, and Reagan signed off on it. The Talmadge might not be replaced soon because of the huge price tag (and in the 21st century there'll be a pedestrian path). But a bridge -- and a significant one -- will always be there.
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:43 PM
 
4,329 posts, read 9,538,932 times
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Originally Posted by masonbauknight View Post
There was enough commuter traffic for a serious bridge in the early 1950s when the old span was built, back when "metro Savannah"
had only 160,000 people, before Savannah had tourists, when Bluffton was just a hick crossroads and Hilton Head not much more, and Hutchinson Island had nothing on it. There's plenty more traffic now, plus a hotel and convention center on Hutch. A big lobbying effort in the late '70s/early '80s -- in Savannah and the Atlanta statehouse -- got the old Talmadge replaced by the modern span, and Reagan signed off on it. The Talmadge might not be replaced soon because of the huge price tag (and in the 21st century there'll be a pedestrian path). But a bridge -- and a significant one -- will always be there.
I remember the old steel bridge when visiting Savannah during my childhood in the 80's.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,708 posts, read 18,502,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA Survivor View Post
There will never be anything on the SC side except maybe a future expanded port. There is not much land to be developed, really we could abandon Hutchinson Island make it a resort accessible by ferry only with no motor vehicles and take the bridge down and save a ton of money for the state of Georgia.
You’re joking right? PLEASE tell me your joking?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by masonbauknight View Post
There was enough commuter traffic for a serious bridge in the early 1950s when the old span was built, back when "metro Savannah"
had only 160,000 people, before Savannah had tourists, when Bluffton was just a hick crossroads and Hilton Head not much more, and Hutchinson Island had nothing on it. There's plenty more traffic now, plus a hotel and convention center on Hutch. A big lobbying effort in the late '70s/early '80s -- in Savannah and the Atlanta statehouse -- got the old Talmadge replaced by the modern span, and Reagan signed off on it. The Talmadge might not be replaced soon because of the huge price tag (and in the 21st century there'll be a pedestrian path). But a bridge -- and a significant one -- will always be there.
Uh ... commuter traffic?! You of all people should know that before I-95 came along, US 17 (Coastal Highway) was the MAIN north-south route for millions of tourists (as well as commercial traffic) from the Northeast down to Florida ... hugging the coastline most of the way and crossing over numerous bridges as it passed directly through downtown Newport News, Wilmington, Georgetown, Charleston, Brunswick and Jacksonville. But not downtown Savannah. US 17 crossed the Savannah River into Georgia via the Houlihan Bridge at Port Wetworth, and then followed a confusing route along narrow surface streets through the industrial areas of Garden City and East Savannah before joining up with present day Ogeechee Road.

The 1953 Talmadge Bridge changed all that ... creating a quicker and more direct route from Hardeeville right into the heart of historic Savannah. The new bridge of course still carries US 17 traffic into Georgia, joining up with I-16 and then merging onto I-516 to Ogeechee Road. So not only is it a beautiful backdrop for Savannah's skyline, it's a major link in our regional transportation network and vital to our economy.

Last edited by Newsboy; 09-26-2018 at 10:10 AM..
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
YUh ... commuter traffic?!
Yes siree: commuter traffic -- Savannah was uber-industrial back then. Though Garden City was the blue-collar bedroom town, many factory employees came from South Carolina (Pooler or Effingham had few residents). Ditto for retail, which was all downtown. Such a big bridge over the port area and into town largely served S.C. Lowcountry connections, not tourism (that wouldn't arrive for a good 25 years after the 1953 opening) and certainly not Florida travelers, who had no reason to stop in Savannah (absolutely none). The Houlihan/Ogeechee Rd. connection was better for them, and in the early 1950s there was no local interest in visitors.
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masonbauknight View Post
Yes siree: commuter traffic -- Savannah was uber-industrial back then. Though Garden City was the blue-collar bedroom town, many factory employees came from South Carolina (Pooler or Effingham had few residents). Ditto for retail, which was all downtown. Such a big bridge over the port area and into town largely served S.C. Lowcountry connections, not tourism (that wouldn't arrive for a good 25 years after the 1953 opening) and certainly not Florida travelers, who had no reason to stop in Savannah (absolutely none). The Houlihan/Ogeechee Rd. connection was better for them, and in the early 1950s there was no local interest in visitors.
Sorry friend ... you missed my point entirely. US 17 / Coastal Highway was the MAIN north-south route along the southeastern Atlantic coast for years, stretching 1189 miles from Punta Gorde, Fla. (at the Tamiami Trail) north to Paris, Va., where it terminates into US 50 (the Northwestern Turnpike). I-95 eventually replaced it as the main east coast interstate, with the 112 mile portion of I-95 through Georgia finally completed in 1977. Along much of the route, 17 and I-95 run parallel to each other or even cross over and under each other ... and in some places (like Jasper County) they are in fact ONE ROAD for a brief stretch.

The original route of US 17 from Hardeeville south to the Georgia state line is today SC 170 (Alligator Alley) through the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. Once it crosses the Houlihan Bridge into Port Wentworth, that stretch becomes GA 25 ... but it's still called SOUTH COASTAL HIGHWAY by the city of Port Wentworth. In Garden City, it's called MAIN STREET.

After passing under the 516 intersection, GA 25 becomes West Bay Street. That's the route US 17 followed south into the city prior to the opening of the FIRST Talmadge Bridge in 1953, but from there things get sketchy. From Bay Street, it at times turned south onto Montgomery (going around Franklin, Liberty and Elbert squares) ... but for a time also turned south onto West Bay, bypassing the squares, before turning WEST on Liberty and then SOUTH again onto Montgomery. Also for a brief time, NORTHBOUND traffic ONLY took WEST BAY north ... while SOUTHBOUND traffic ONLY was directed on MONTGOMERY to Bay. From there, US 17 traffic alternately followed different routes southwest out of the city ... 37th Street, Victory Drive, Whatley Avenue, Mills B. Lane Blvd, 54th Street ... to eventually reach present-day OGEECHEE ROAD where it intersects today with I-516.

NOW ... all that confusion was partially eliminated with the first Talmadge Bridge in 1953. Travelers coming off the bridge found themselves on Oglethorpe Avenue. And it's no coincidence that a cluster of motor hotels quickly sprang up at the foot of the new bridge! Howard-Johnson, The Thunderbird, Holiday Inn and several others (since taken over by SCAD) greeted visitors to the city, whereas the old route carried them through what was (like it or not) ugly industrial blight ... the world's largest sugar refinery and the horribly odorous Union Camp paper mill.

Further south on present-day Ogeechee Road, dozens of old motor hotels serve as a reminder that yes ... before the interstates, US 17 was indeed heavily traveled by TOURISTS going to and from Florida. They may not have stopped over in Savannah to see the historic sites, but they certainly stopped over and spent the night on the long journey up and down the coast. And it's like this all along the length of US 17 through Georgia. McIntosh County was, in fact, a notorious SPEED TRAP ... run by a crooked sheriff famous for preying on blacks and Jews. Books have been written about it.
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
Sorry friend ... you missed my point entirely. US 17 / Coastal Highway was the MAIN north-south route along the southeastern Atlantic coast for years, stretching 1189 miles from Punta Gorde, Fla. (at the Tamiami Trail) north to Paris, Va., where it terminates into US 50 (the Northwestern Turnpike). I-95 eventually replaced it as the main east coast interstate, with the 112 mile portion of I-95 through Georgia finally completed in 1977. Along much of the route, 17 and I-95 run parallel to each other or even cross over and under each other ... and in some places (like Jasper County) they are in fact ONE ROAD for a brief stretch.

The original route of US 17 from Hardeeville south to the Georgia state line is today SC 170 (Alligator Alley) through the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. Once it crosses the Houlihan Bridge into Port Wentworth, that stretch becomes GA 25 ... but it's still called SOUTH COASTAL HIGHWAY by the city of Port Wentworth. In Garden City, it's called MAIN STREET.

After passing under the 516 intersection, GA 25 becomes West Bay Street. That's the route US 17 followed south into the city prior to the opening of the FIRST Talmadge Bridge in 1953, but from there things get sketchy. From Bay Street, it at times turned south onto Montgomery (going around Franklin, Liberty and Elbert squares) ... but for a time also turned south onto West Bay, bypassing the squares, before turning WEST on Liberty and then SOUTH again onto Montgomery. Also for a brief time, NORTHBOUND traffic ONLY took WEST BAY north ... while SOUTHBOUND traffic ONLY was directed on MONTGOMERY to Bay. From there, US 17 traffic alternately followed different routes southwest out of the city ... 37th Street, Victory Drive, Whatley Avenue, Mills B. Lane Blvd, 54th Street ... to eventually reach present-day OGEECHEE ROAD where it intersects today with I-516.

NOW ... all that confusion was partially eliminated with the first Talmadge Bridge in 1953. Travelers coming off the bridge found themselves on Oglethorpe Avenue. And it's no coincidence that a cluster of motor hotels quickly sprang up at the foot of the new bridge! Howard-Johnson, The Thunderbird, Holiday Inn and several others (since taken over by SCAD) greeted visitors to the city, whereas the old route carried them through what was (like it or not) ugly industrial blight ... the world's largest sugar refinery and the horribly odorous Union Camp paper mill.

Further south on present-day Ogeechee Road, dozens of old motor hotels serve as a reminder that yes ... before the interstates, US 17 was indeed heavily traveled by TOURISTS going to and from Florida. They may not have stopped over in Savannah to see the historic sites, but they certainly stopped over and spent the night on the long journey up and down the coast. And it's like this all along the length of US 17 through Georgia. McIntosh County was, in fact, a notorious SPEED TRAP ... run by a crooked sheriff famous for preying on blacks and Jews. Books have been written about it.

I get your main points, but aren't you missing my point about S.C. commuters? The Talmadge provided a straight route for blue-collar factory workers from S.C. as well as low-level downtown employees from S.C. As for Florida travelers, they took the Talmadge only if they had made a mistake; they still continued to go around the city, never into it. Also, those motels would be there regardless. Our family stayed at the Holiday Inn under the Talmadge when my parents interviewed for their Savannah jobs. I remember it well. This was the minimal cheap "hostelry" for a city of Savannah's size. The land in this sector of the city near the projects was cheap. Savannah in the 1950s and 1960s was no city that Florida-bound visitors wanted to overnight in: smelly, dumpy, and shabby -- unless you explored further east toward the squares. Few of them did. The city had no reputation except for a negative one.

Last edited by masonbauknight; 09-26-2018 at 05:27 PM..
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
4,527 posts, read 7,798,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
Sorry friend ... you missed my point entirely. US 17 / Coastal Highway was the MAIN north-south route along the southeastern Atlantic coast for years, stretching 1189 miles from Punta Gorde, Fla. (at the Tamiami Trail) north to Paris, Va., where it terminates into US 50 (the Northwestern Turnpike). I-95 eventually replaced it as the main east coast interstate, with the 112 mile portion of I-95 through Georgia finally completed in 1977. Along much of the route, 17 and I-95 run parallel to each other or even cross over and under each other ... and in some places (like Jasper County) they are in fact ONE ROAD for a brief stretch.

The original route of US 17 from Hardeeville south to the Georgia state line is today SC 170 (Alligator Alley) through the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. Once it crosses the Houlihan Bridge into Port Wentworth, that stretch becomes GA 25 ... but it's still called SOUTH COASTAL HIGHWAY by the city of Port Wentworth. In Garden City, it's called MAIN STREET.

After passing under the 516 intersection, GA 25 becomes West Bay Street. That's the route US 17 followed south into the city prior to the opening of the FIRST Talmadge Bridge in 1953, but from there things get sketchy. From Bay Street, it at times turned south onto Montgomery (going around Franklin, Liberty and Elbert squares) ... but for a time also turned south onto West Bay, bypassing the squares, before turning WEST on Liberty and then SOUTH again onto Montgomery. Also for a brief time, NORTHBOUND traffic ONLY took WEST BAY north ... while SOUTHBOUND traffic ONLY was directed on MONTGOMERY to Bay. From there, US 17 traffic alternately followed different routes southwest out of the city ... 37th Street, Victory Drive, Whatley Avenue, Mills B. Lane Blvd, 54th Street ... to eventually reach present-day OGEECHEE ROAD where it intersects today with I-516.

NOW ... all that confusion was partially eliminated with the first Talmadge Bridge in 1953. Travelers coming off the bridge found themselves on Oglethorpe Avenue. And it's no coincidence that a cluster of motor hotels quickly sprang up at the foot of the new bridge! Howard-Johnson, The Thunderbird, Holiday Inn and several others (since taken over by SCAD) greeted visitors to the city, whereas the old route carried them through what was (like it or not) ugly industrial blight ... the world's largest sugar refinery and the horribly odorous Union Camp paper mill.

Further south on present-day Ogeechee Road, dozens of old motor hotels serve as a reminder that yes ... before the interstates, US 17 was indeed heavily traveled by TOURISTS going to and from Florida. They may not have stopped over in Savannah to see the historic sites, but they certainly stopped over and spent the night on the long journey up and down the coast. And it's like this all along the length of US 17 through Georgia. McIntosh County was, in fact, a notorious SPEED TRAP ... run by a crooked sheriff famous for preying on blacks and Jews. Books have been written about it.
I thought that notorious speed trap was in Long county in Ludowici
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,708 posts, read 18,502,778 times
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Originally Posted by WanderingImport View Post
I thought that notorious speed trap was in Long county in Ludowici
That's true. The Atlanta Time Machine Blog has a great entry on Ludowici's notorious reign as SPEED TRAP CAPITAL OF THE WORLD ... and Gov. Lester Maddox's successful campaign to end it.

http://www.atlantatimemachine.com/misc/ludowici.htm

HOWEVER ... fact remains that McIntosh County was just as notorious for speed traps ... and MUCH worse as documented in Melissa Faye Greene's 1991 best-seller "Praying for Sheetrock"

From an 1991 article in the Chicago Tribune: POLITICS OF CHANGE - Chicago Tribune

Quote:
"The county was run for years by High Sheriff Tom Poppell, who had been under federal and state investigation for corrupt activities but had never been indicted. We started hearing stories about trucks being hijacked. And about the S&S Truck Stop, where you couldn't buy a gallon of diesel and you couldn't fix a flat tire and you couldn't get yourself a cheeseburger, but it was the busiest truck stop in the state. Eventually we learned that it was a house of prostitution ... a center for gambling and gun running and drug smuggling and lotteries, and a haven for criminal fugitives."

Pages 121 and 122 of this Lester Maddox biography address his efforts to clean up both Long and McIntosh counties back in the 1960s.

https://books.google.com/books?id=-a...eorgia&f=false
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,708 posts, read 18,502,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masonbauknight View Post
I get your main points, but aren't you missing my point about S.C. commuters? The Talmadge provided a straight route for blue-collar factory workers from S.C. as well as low-level downtown employees from S.C. As for Florida travelers, they took the Talmadge only if they had made a mistake; they still continued to go around the city, never into it. Also, those motels would be there regardless. Our family stayed at the Holiday Inn under the Talmadge when my parents interviewed for their Savannah jobs. I remember it well. This was the minimal cheap "hostelry" for a city of Savannah's size. The land in this sector of the city near the projects was cheap. Savannah in the 1950s and 1960s was no city that Florida-bound visitors wanted to overnight in: smelly, dumpy, and shabby -- unless you explored further east toward the squares. Few of them did. The city had no reputation except for a negative one.
SIGH ... as we all know, Jasper County to this day does is not included in the Savannah MSA because SO FEW RESIDENTS commute to jobs on this side of the river. But you're saying that in 1950, when fewer than 11,000 people lived there, HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of blue-collar workers spilled into Georgia every day to work here? Whatever. Even if a few hundred DID as you say ... why would they go out of their way to take the Talmadge Bridge to work when the Houlihan Bridge crosses the river RIGHT INTO PORT WENTWORTH AND GARDEN CITY where all the industries are? That makes no sense whatsoever.

I'll say it again ... the 1953 Talmadge Bridge was conceived and built to provide a more direct route for US 17 traffic heading north and south through Savannah before the interstates. Why would anybody but locals still take the old Port Wentworth route when all the official highway maps and travel guides told them to do otherwise? To this day, when driving south on I-95, signs direct travelers to exit in Hardeeville and take US 17 to Savannah ... because it's the fastest and most direct route. Period.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
SIGH ... as we all know, Jasper County to this day does is not included in the Savannah MSA because SO FEW RESIDENTS commute to jobs on this side of the river. But you're saying that in 1950, when fewer than 11,000 people lived there, HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of blue-collar workers spilled into Georgia every day to work here? Whatever. Even if a few hundred DID as you say ... why would they go out of their way to take the Talmadge Bridge to work when the Houlihan Bridge crosses the river RIGHT INTO PORT WENTWORTH AND GARDEN CITY where all the industries are? That makes no sense whatsoever.

I'll say it again ... the 1953 Talmadge Bridge was conceived and built to provide a more direct route for US 17 traffic heading north and south through Savannah before the interstates. Why would anybody but locals still take the old Port Wentworth route when all the official highway maps and travel guides told them to do otherwise? To this day, when driving south on I-95, signs direct travelers to exit in Hardeeville and take US 17 to Savannah ... because it's the fastest and most direct route. Period.

Savannah's CSA is totally off topic. There was no MSA or CSA in 1953, and the exclusion of Jasper County from the CSA today is based on its small number of commuters within a much more urbanized, Georgia-centered Savannah-Hinesville CSA. In the 1950s, all Georgia towns outside Savannah were tiny. Savannah-Chatham industry west of Savannah, the docks, and retail stores on Broughton Street (everything was on Broughton or Bay in those days) depended on S.C. workers far more than today. The Talmadge Bridge allowed Savannah industry the employee base it required. It was an industrial city. That said, there was no reason for others -- travelers from Florida, Charlestonians, Columbians -- to come directly through downtown. Savannah was a forgotten and isolated backwater. Even after the bridge opened, this would not be the main approach to Savannah for most folks. It was an alternate route, and still is. With the recent explosion in the population of the S.C. Lowcountry (not Jasper but Beaufort County), a bridge is a given for the future. But it's wrong to compare the Lowcountry's connections to Savannah-area employers 65 years ago to the way they are now.
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