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Watt Road project two years away

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen have approved engineering services for the Watt Road and Old Stage Road extension, but construction could be more than two years away.

“For a number of years, we’ve been talking about the need to improve and extend Watt Road back to Old Stage Road from its terminus at the Icearium.

“Part of that project is to improve Old Stage Road from Johnson’s Corner Road to the western Town limits,” said Darryl Smith, Town engineer.

Old Stage Road will be widened from its current 16-foot width to two 12-foot travel lanes with four-foot shoulders for bicycles as well as a curb and gutter and sidewalk on each side.

Watt Road will be extended to Old Stage with three 12-foot lanes, four-foot shoulders for bicycles, and also will have a curb and gutter and sidewalk on each side.

“This is a project that is currently on the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization’s 2008-2011 [Transportation Improvement Program] with an estimated construction cost of $1.8 million,” Smith said, adding that TDOT has given the Town the notice to proceed with engineering.

Board awarded a contract for $294,450 to Wilbur Smith Associates for completion of the design and engineering phase of the project, but Smith was quick to point out that construction could be delayed.

Wilbur Smith has estimated a one-year time frame for completing engineering and design services, and TDOT may delay the project once it reaches the construction phase.

“Probably, we could have the right-of-way purchased in two years; given the schedule T-DOT has been giving lately, two-and-a-half or three years before they would start construction,” Smith said.

“Two years would be optimistic,” he added.

“Oftentimes, we’re seeing even projects that are right on track with their schedule [have] the beginning of construction put off for various reasons,” Smith said.

Board also awarded a contract to Wilbur Smith Associates for [construction engineering and inspection] services for the Old Stage Road sidewalk.

At its last meeting, Board awarded a bid for construction of the sidewalk to Mark McKinnon Construction. Because the project is funded through a TDOT Enhancement Grant, TDOT requires a CEI consultant to oversee construction.

Mark McKinnon Construction and Wilbur Smith Associates recently completed working together on the Turkey Creek Road bridge project.

“It’s a very good pairing; that project went very smoothly and was completed on time and under-budget, so we’d like to put them together on this one as well,” Smith said.

Wilbur Smith will bill the Town based on per diem rates with an anticipated cost of no more than $39,100.

In other business, the Board:

• Approved, on second and final reading, Ordinance 08-12, an amendment to the off-street parking requirements for lawn and tractor sales, retail warehousing, building supplies, home improvement stores and construction supplies establishments. The amendment allows these types of establishments to have parking in a ratio of one space for every 400 square feet of gross floor area.

• Approved, on second and final reading, Ordinance 08-13, which will allow manufactured and modular building units to be placed at hospitals and places of worship for a total time period of no more than four years.

• Approved, on second and final reading, Ordinance 08-14, to rezone Parcel 131, Tax Map 142, land located on the north side of Kingston Pike between North Fork Turkey Creek and Farragut High School, from R-2, O-1, C-1 and FPD to O-1, OS-P and FPD. The 15.94 acres were rezoned to Office District, Open Space/Park District and Flood Plain District.

• Awarded the annual HVAC maintenance contract for Town Hall to Cook’s Mechanical Services for $13,300.

• Appointed Mary Ann Aken to the Farragut Arts Council.


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