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Outlet Drive extension moving forward
Construction projected to be completed by 2012

Outlet Drive currently ends just past the former Outlet Mall.- Heather Mays/farragutpress
The $4.6 million, 2,400-foot Outlet Drive connection to Campbell Station Road, including 1,100 feet of realigned Snyder Road, should be operational sometime before the end of 2012.

David Smoak, Farragut Town Administrator, said right-of-way acquisition — approved by Knox County Commission unanimously late last month — probably would take “the next few months.”

“Their estimated timeline would be to move utilities in the fall and then go ahead with the construction documents for bid sometime in the winter, and get started in the spring with construction,” he added.

Bruce Wuethrich, Engineering and Public Works Director for Knox County, also estimated a spring construction start.

Upon breaking ground, Wuethrich said actual construction would take “probably 12 to 18 months.”

Though 12 of the 15 parcels needed for construction are within the town of Farragut, Smoak said the Town’s only expense is $550,000 for its share of right-of-way costs.

Dr. Richard Briggs, Knox County Commissioner representing Farragut (District 5), explained his vote in favor of right-of-way acquisition.

Though Briggs described the Outlet Drive area as “blighted” and without “a tax base there because the properties don’t have a lot of value,” he said if the extension is done “properly,” the area would become “an asset both to Farragut and to Knox County.”

“There really isn’t any major neighborhood problems over there,” he added. “We would have increased the tax base, we’re getting tax dollars back on this. But more importantly, we’re taking a building [former Outlet Mall] in an area that’s blighted and we’ll be turning it into something useful.

“We’ll be getting sales tax back as businesses start to develop there.”

The extension and realigned Snyder Road portion will include a center turn lane, featuring a sidewalk on one side and “an eight-foot asphalt trail on the other,” said Darryl Smith, Town engineer. “Plus curb and gutter on both sides.”

Outlet Drive and Snyder Road are two-lanes roads.

An 1,100-foot portion of Snyder Road, running east from where it connects to Campbell Station, is being moved north — about 200 feet north at its furthest point — to line up with Snyder Road west of Kingston Pike.

At the point where the Outlet Drive connector joins the new northern Snyder Road will be a “T intersection,” Smith said.

Included in the construction is about “350 feet” on Snyder Road leading from the T intersection north, ending “a few hundred feet south of Knoxville Christian [School].” That extension will be two lanes widening into three approaching the T intersection heading south.

“The existing road will remain just as it is,” Smith said of Outlet Drive. “It may improved in the future; I suspect that it will.”

Smith said much of the right-of-way to move Snyder Road north already has been secured.

As for possible complications acquiring right-of-way from property owners, Wuethrich said, “No structures are being taken, it’s strictly just raw land that’s being utilized.

“At the present time we’ve not had any negative comments from any of the property owners out there,” he added. “Now some of the property owners may not be completely aware of the exact details of the road. ... It usually takes 30 to 45 days just to negotiate with property owners.

“There are some utility conflicts, and we’d like to get those out of the way.”

As for special concerns, Wuethrich said, “There are a couple of areas where I do have some environmental issues with sinkholes that we may have to narrow things down from an environmental standpoint.”


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