The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in the US is studying a possible new interstate to connect Knoxville, Tennessee, to Savannah, Georgia.

The study began in June and the project, if approved, will be called Interstate 3, FHWA spokesman Doug Hecox told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The study is looking at routes, costs and impact on tourism, industry and the environment and will only show options for the route.

The study results could be out by the end of 2011 according to Hecox, but the states involved are expected to make the final choice for the project if it moves ahead.

The Stop I-3 Coalition is opposing the new interstate on grounds that it would damage the local environment and inner city commerce.