The Rollins family did just about everything it could do to block a new road linking Interstate 75 to Rome and running just south of the family’s vacation home and prized fishing lake.
The story you're reading is premium content from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Subscribers get total access to all our in-depth news, digital editions and exclusive premium content. You can now also buy a 24-hour digital pass or 7-day digital pass.
AJC Print subscriber - I've already registered my account.Sign In
AJC Print subscriber - I need to register my account for digital access.Access Digital
We’ll contribute 99¢ to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge® program when you purchase a digital pass now through Oct. 31. Access our Hope and Health content all month long for only 99¢.99¢ through Oct.31
Subscribe to AJC for as little as 33¢ per dayView Offers
AJC writer Kristina Torres contributed to this report.
The Georgia Department of Transportation and the Rollins family - owner of pest control businesses including Orkin - have fought for decades over plans to create a direct route to Rome from Interstate 75 that would cut through the family’s 1,800-acre ranch. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has brought readers insight and context into this extraordinary dispute.
A timeline of the dispute:
1970s-1980s: O. Wayne Rollins, the powerful business executive, puts together more than 1,800 acre ranch in Bartow County. As he amasses the last parcels of land, Rome leaders lobby the state for a more direct route from Interstate 75.
Late 1980s: The state plans a route to Rome north of the Rollins estate but changes its plans after Anheuser-Busch said it would buy the property and build a brewery there. The new route cuts through Rollins’ land, prompting a legal fight.
1993: A federal judge sided with the Rollins family and temporarily blocked the road from going forward.
Late 2000s: After more delays and another scuttled route, state planners once again plan to blaze a trail through a part of the Rollins land. Rollins responds by hiring attorneys, engineers, scientists and consultants to fend off the construction.
June 2013: The Federal Highway Administration finds that building the road could have an “adverse effect” on a nearby abandoned mine eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Gov. Nathan Deal said the decision would require a “vast amount of energy, time and resources” to build the proposed road, and suggests exploring other routes.