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Road upgrades before County Commission


Several road construction items for West Knox County were unanimously approved by the two committees of the Knox County Commission during a special meeting Monday, June 19, and will be on the consent agenda for the upcoming regular meeting.

One item the Commission is expected to approve is the appropriation of $500,000 for the Campbell Station Road

extension.

“That’s a project we’re doing in a joint venture with the town of Farragut,” said Bruce Wuethrich, Knox County director of engineering and public works. “We agreed to assist them with the construction from a dollar standpoint and there’s more money in next year’s budget to go along with that. This money is in this year’s fiscal budget and we need to appropriate it or we lose it.

“My understanding is that it takes it from where Campbell Station Road meets Concord Road and then runs it all the way out to Northshore Drive. I think there’s half-a-million in this year’s budget and another half-a-million in next year’s budget, which starts July 1.”

Knox County District 5 Seat A Commissioner Mike Hammond said he believes this is a necessary project and added he was “in favor of it.”

Knox County District 5 Seat B Commissioner Craig Leuthold said this is an appropriate use of funds.

“It’s a very busy road and residents want to have things done to it,” Leuthold said. “I think this is an opportunity to improve the road.”

He said the county is setting aside this money so it can’t be spent on other projects. A second vote on the contract would be required for final approval. The project, expected to be about two years from letting, would make Concord Road four lanes from Turkey Creek Road to Northshore Drive.

Another project Knox County Commission is expected to approve is the appropriation of $82,400 to add a turn lane at the intersection of Kingston Pile and Lovell Road.

“That’s what they call a C-M-A-C [Congestion Mitigation Air Quality] project,” Wuethrich said. “It’s an eighty-twenty split with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and we’re going to add a turn lane on Kingston Pike to assist with the congestion out there.”

“I think this is something that is very much needed,” Hammond said.

Leuthold echoed Hammond’s comment, adding that now is the time to assist with traffic because traffic projections show traffic is expected to increase in coming years.

Another project that received an appropriation of $74,000 was to add left turn lanes at the intersection of Northshore Drive and Westland Drive.

“Northshore at Westland is another C-M-A-C project,” Wuethrich said. “What we’re anticipating doing there is adding turn lanes certainly on Westland Drive and Northshore Drive. The money we put toward it is for design, study and right-of-way acquisition.”

Both Hammond and Leuthold agreed that work at that intersection could assist traffic.

“As we get more and more cars on Northshore Drive, any improvements we can make will help tremendously,” Hammond said.

“I’ve come across some very bad wrecks at that intersection,” Leuthold said. “You’ve got busses turning there, cars turning there. I think the turn lanes are necessary.”

Wuethrich said once the appropriations have been made on the CMAC projects, the county commission would vote again on the final contract. He said TDOT generally doesn’t commit to a project until a governing entity approves the appropriation of funds.

 

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