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Gas station thwarts Boyd Station underpass elimination
‘Dangerous’ underpass remains as plans for road improvement suffers setback

Construction of a British Petroleum station and convenience market off Harvey Road may have killed an earmarked project involving McFee Road.

Farragut town engineer Darryl Smith said there has been talk for a while about extending a portion McFee Road across the Norfork/Southern railroad tracks, which run parallel to Boyd Station Road, to tie it directly onto Harvey Road eliminating a one-lane underpass on Boyd Station Road.

“There is an earmarked project that has funding set aside to fund more or less a study of what to do with that intersection,” Smith said.

“That would be a very expensive piece of right-of-way now,” he added. “There would be no way to do it with the B-P there, that property would have to be purchased in order to construct the project.”

In a meeting of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization Technical Committee in July 2006, the committee approved an amendment to the 2006-2008 Transportation Improvement Program to include a total of $293,990 in federal funds and $73,447 local be added to the TIP in order to fund construction of a new underpass at the intersection of Harvey and McFee roads.

At the time of the amendment, Smith questioned if the money was being set aside to fund preliminary engineering or the construction itself.

Jeff Welch, transportations planning organization director, said that it would be appropriate to say these funds were for preliminary engineering costs.

“Under $400,000 is not enough money to do more than fund a study of this project,” Smith said.

“I have pulled some numbers out of the air for what it would really take to construct McFee Road over the railroad tracks. It would be a very expensive project. The problem there, aside from the fact that there is a B-P being constructed there, is that if you go under the railroad track there, to get proper clearance, I am not certain that you would not be at lake level, or that you could ever get it to drain properly.

“To go over the tracks, you have got to have approximately 23 feet of clearance between the bottom of a bridge and the railroad tracks. The tracks themselves are probably six or eight feet above Boyd Station [Road], plus the depth of a bridge. You are looking at raising McFee Road up to 40 feet in the air,” Smith said.

“I have not done a real study on it, but just pulling numbers out of the air, we could be looking at several millions of dollars,” he added.

Those millions of dollars would not include the purchase price of the land on which the BP is being constructed.

Smith added that there is the possibility of the project in the future, but the BP on the property makes it much more


“The gas station is on the Knox County side, Knox County could probably not have kept the owners from developing it unless they purchased the land,” he said.

The money in the TIP to fund the study came from a highway bill that was passed in 2005.

“[Congressman] John J. Duncan [Jr.] has been very gracious with us. He has promoted this area a lot. In fact, one earmark in that transportation bill included improvements to Campbell Station Road. We have included that on the TIP and gone through the regular channels to obtain funding for that project,” Smith said.


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