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Columbus is one of Georgia's three Fall Line Cities , along with Augusta and Macon . The fall line is where the hilly lands of the Piedmont plateau meet the flat terrain of the coastal plain . As such, Columbus has a varied landscape of rolling hills on the north side and flat plains on the south. The fall line causes rivers in the area to decline rapidly towards sea level. Textile mills were established here in the 19th and early 20th centuries to take advantage of the water power from the falls. Columbus was developed along the Chattahoochee River .
Interstate 185 runs east of the city, with access from exits 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, and 14 to the city. Interstate 185 runs north 96 mi (154 km) to Atlanta , and 169 miles northwest of Tallahassee, Florida . U.S. Route 27 , U.S. Route 280 , and Georgia State Route 520 (known as South Georgia Parkway) all meet in the interior of the city. U.S. Route 80 runs north of the city, locally known as J.R. Allen Parkway; Alternate U.S. Route 27 and Georgia State Route 85 run northeast from the city, locally known as Bill Heard Expressway.
The city is located at 32°29′23″N 84°56′26″W  /  32.489608°N 84.940422°W  / 32.489608; -84.940422 .
According to the US Census Bureau , the city has a total area of 221.0 square miles (572 km 2 ), of which, 216.3 square miles (560 km 2 ) of it is land and 4.7 square miles (12 km 2 ) of it (2.14%) is water.
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