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Campbell Station Road improvements draws safety concerns

As one of her last officials acts as an alderman for the town of Farragut, Constance Rutenber joined with Alderman Joel Garber to push for the safety of Farragut’s children.

The issue came to light when town engineer Darryl Smith asked the Board to approve a proposal to pay Wilbur Smith Associates a fee of $364,800 for engineering services for Campbell Station Road improvements.

Robert Bower, representing Wilbur Smith Associates, reported that TDOT was happy with the Advanced Planning Report the firm prepared.

Alderman Garber quizzed the engineering firms spokesman about safety concerns.

Garber said, “The last time we discussed this, I made what I thought was a very strong plea to consider a tunnel underneath the road in the vicinity of the high school … I don’t see that reflected here.”

Bower said that Garber’s assessment was correct and that “there was a substantial amount of discussion both internally and with staff and with the Department of Transportation and the conclusion of that was that the combination of the technical aspects of it and the cost of it the Department of Transportation did not feel comfortable in moving along with that element of the work.”

Bower added the wishes of the town may not be a factor, “It’s whether or not the Department of Transportation would be willing to accept the cost of the project.”

Garber said, “I would also like to hear more about why it’s not feasible underground because underground is definitely the way we would want to go … I still feel strongly about it. … We have to look to the safety of the people who are going to use this and that is the school district. We have hundreds of kids crossing there every day and it’s going to be five lanes, very heavily traveled area, and they’re not going to walk to Herron Road to the traffic signal. And so, to me it’s just a really big part of making this what we need for the future.”

Vice Mayor and Alderman Michael Haynes asked at what level was that decision made?

Bower replied it was “a staff level decision … .”

The Board approved the proposal adding that a means to cross the road should be included in the engineering.

The Board approved on second reading:

• accepting Confederacy Way, the private road located within Shiloh Subdivision, as a public road.

• a request by St. John Neumann School to amend the text of the Farragut Municipal Code, Sign Ordinance,

• a request by National Health Care to amend the text of the Farragut Zoning Ordinance, to reduce the 100-foot building setback.

Under new business the Board:

• Postponed hearing a resolution for Occupational Health and Safety Program

• Approved a request to place signs in the right of way for the Knoxville Open Golf Tournament.


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