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Did the bypass help or hurt Swainsboro?

By Ronald Moore

With all of the social and economic challenges we are facing in our society, today, it would seem that in the grand scheme of all things relevant, no one wants to be had, took, hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amuck, left out, pushed aside, looked over, taken for granted, forgotten, disregarded, unnoticed, left behind, or even bypassed. At least on purpose, right?

Did the City of Swainsboro utilize the infrastructure of the U.S. 1 Bypass to the town's advantage, or did our local government truly want our town to be passed by? In my opinion that is what has seemed to have happened. It is amazing to me as I would liken the actions of the past 20 years or so of the former city administration to a chess game. It is becoming more and more obvious that someone made mostly the wrong moves. And I say this, not from an arbitrary or controversial point of view, but just by calling a spade a spade. The decisions made back then by our former city government not to utilize the U.S. 1 bypass to its full economic capacity were either grossly incompetent, or intentional.

It's the latter of the two in my opinion is what is most disturbing. When we look around at most of the cities and towns from Augusta, all the way to Waycross, most of the cities have utilized this awesome stretch of highway to boost and assist economic development and stimulation in their cities. Not Swainsboro. It has been stated that the only thing you can get on the bypass at Swainsboro is a ticket. No gas, no food, no stores, no groceries, no nothing. Just a ticket. Imagine a four-lane interstate-like infrastructure that can usher countless visitors from all over the state and country who are literally passing right by at your doorstep who by the nature of the road itself, has to come through your vicinity and you fail to capitalize on this? Really? Like I said, gross incompetence, or intentional. Wow!

I am reminded of a cliche that I heard a Drill Seargent use during my training at my Ft. Benning to best articulate this line of reasoning. When Drill Seargent Gordon observed similar questionable instances, he would often say and I quote, "you are either a complete idiot or a very good actor". Just imagine if the city would have annexed and expanded when the bypass was constructed. Look at Statesboro and how they utilize the 301 bypass. Just think how much of a positive economic and social impact that "chess move' would have made.

Why on earth wouldn't you? Look at Wadley, Wrens, Lyons, even Oak Park. Hotels, stores. restaurants, businesses, commerce, growth, development, housing, increased revenue, jobs, progress, from Augusta too Waycross. Billions of dollars in revenue travel this stretch of road that these cities take advantage of, and Swainsboro gets nothing but “BYPASSED? Are you kidding me? It's time for Swainsboro to make a power move. We have got to do better. It's no wonder that our neighboring municipalities have surpassed us by leaps and bounds. Let’s change it y'all.

"It's been a long time coming"... Finally, my fellow citizens, please remember this, growth is intentional, but so is stupidity. Time to grow!

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