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Smith Road prepares for new sidewalks


Construction is expected to begin on 1,700 feet of sidewalk within the next week on Smith Road in Farragut, but town officials said residents in the construction area will face no major inconvenience.

“In the short term, there could be lane closures for short periods of time,” said Darryl Smith, town engineer.

“It really shouldn’t be too hard on residents,” said Casey Wood, assistant town engineer. “Residents will have other avenues to get around the

construction.”

Smith said construction of the sidewalk would begin at the intersection of Smith Road and Grigsby Chapel Road and extend to the intersection of Smith Road and Andover Road.

“We’re going to be putting in a five-foot sidewalk with curb and gutter,” Smith said. “What we’re doing will enhance the value of the area.”

The project was let to Rich Construction for a cost of a little more than $500,000.

Smith and Wood said the part of the project requiring the most time may be coordinating movement of utilities. They said there are currently four utility poles carrying telephone, power and cable lines that would need to be moved.

“I’ll be out there probably every day keeping an eye on things,” Wood said.

Wood said the project is projected to begin in mid-July and start with video documentation of the entire construction area by the town staff.

“That’s just to protect us and the residents,” Smith said.

Events at past Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meetings indicate this sidewalk project has been a controversial one.

The proposed sidewalk was “shelved” by the Board at its rescheduled July 18, 2005, meeting because plans for the sidewalk only allowed for a widening of Smith Road on the north

side.

Smith had said the road should have a symmetrical widening and suggested the project begin when funds are available to finish the project.

Farragut Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III reopened discussion on the sidewalk at the Aug. 11 meeting because he said he had not yet seen plans for the sidewalk and the town had paid more than $40,000 for those plans.

The Board agreed to revote on the issue at its Aug. 25, 2005, meeting.







Farragut Vice Mayor Michael Haynes asked Smith at the August meeting if installing a sidewalk with curb and gutter on the north side of Smith Road would alleviate some of the drainage problems.

Smith said, “… It certainly won’t hurt anything. It will help everyone, but as you get farther and farther from Smith Road, the difference that it creates is less noticeable ... .”

The Board voted unanimously, 5-0, in favor of moving forward with the proposed plans.

While the official bid for the project was a little more than half a million dollars, the total cost may end up considerably more. Town officials said they have had to go through legal procedures to condemn some of the property for the sidewalk project.

 

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