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CSR construction complete

Relief for congested traffic on Campbell Station Road will come this week — in time to accommodate holiday shoppers and travelers.

Town Engineer Darryl Smith told Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen the Campbell Station Road widening project would be completed the week of Thanksgiving.

“There’s no question they will meet the completion date. And they’ll actually be a few days in advance of that. We’re very pleased,” Smith told the Board at its meeting Tuesday, Nov. 16.

The project deadline is Nov. 30.

“And have we ordered the fireworks yet?” Mayor Ralph McGill joked.

Once the entire road is opened, Campbell Station will be five lanes wide: with two southbound lanes, two northbound lanes and one center turn lane. The road also has been equipped with sidewalks and greenway trails and two bike lanes, a rarity on area roads.

“This will usher traffic through the town of Farragut much easier than it has been done in the past, which is the whole intent,” Smith said.

The project also has been a unique collaboration among multiple contractors, planners, builders, governments and schools.

The road project was funded partially through federal stimulus money and partly by Farragut. It was administered by TDOT. APAC-Harrison won the bid for the contract and completed the construction. Everyone had to work with multiple utilities and cable companies, including First Utility District, Lenoir City Utilities Board, Charter and TDS.

Plus, the project impacted two school zones: at Farragut Primary School and Farragut High School, not to mention a major subdivision and a park entrance.

“Anytime you widen an existing highway and you’re maintaining traffic on that highway, you have to have consideration of the motorists, but when you throw two school zones in on top of that, and the subdivision there in Village Green, it makes it a little more difficult,” Robert Hill, of APAC-Harrison, said.

“And it takes a little more time to coordinate and be sure we’re doing everything in the best interest for the public,” he added.

TDOT spokesman David Sparks agreed.

“We at TDOT realize our task is not just ‘widening another road,’ as with the Campbell Station Road project. We know the work we do impacts the public’s daily lives.

“Over 25,000 vehicles use this road every day and trying to build a road safely at the same time would be very challenging,” he said in an e-mail.

The Town, TDOT and the contractor held meetings with school officials and principals to ensure the new traffic patterns were as efficient as they could be.

“All the parties worked well together, and because of that, I believe this project went relatively smooth,” Sparks said.

Farragut Primary principal Julia Craze said the meetings made the project easier.

“Something I had dreaded so much began to be something that was OK, that we worked through,” Craze said.

“I think it’s sort of like when you remodel your house, you move into the back part of your house and you throw your hands up and go, ‘Oh my stars,’ and then when it’s over, you think, ‘Wow, this sure is pretty.’”

She also thanked her staff, who had come in early in the mornings to help with unloading children from cars to help traffic move as quickly as it could.

“I think it was something that was much needed, absolutely needed,” she added of the project as a whole.

“And I think it’s going to take care of everybody: it’s going to help the school traffic, the public traffic, people going to work, people shopping on Parkside,” Craze said.

Farragut High School principal Michael Reynolds has made it known at public meetings that he believes a signal is needed at the west entrance of the high school, but said the road widening was probably necessary.

“They’ve talked about moving traffic and moving more traffic ... I think the expansion certainly, I can understand that and we grow, and there’s constant change, but I think the safety of the kids should come first,” Reynolds said.

Hill said he was proud of the project, and expected motorists to appreciate the new, widened lanes.

“We feel very good about the job, and we think it looks good, and we hope everybody will be very pleased when we finally get the barrels out of the way and let everybody have it,” Hill said.

“A little clean-up here and there, and we’re ready to open it up,” he added.

The Town will hold a ribbon cutting for the improved road at 9 a.m., Monday, Dec. 6.

The road will be closed very briefly for that ribbon cutting, Smith said.

“We’ll close the road down briefly. Very briefly. Three minutes to nine,” he added.


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