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FMPC approves Everett Road improvement project

One long-awaited road projects got the go-ahead from Farragut Municipal Planning Commission Thursday night, Nov. 18.

Commission approved intersection improvements at Kingston Pike and Everett Road, a project that has been in the works since 2004.

Town Engineer Darryl Smith said the Everett Road improvements “have been on our books for some years now.”

The improvements include widening Kingston Pike from four lanes to five (two westbound lanes, two eastbound lanes and one center turn lane). That includes widening the bridge that crosses Little Turkey Creek.

Smith said that stretch of road is the only portion of Kingston Pike west of Sequoyah Hills that doesn’t have a center turn lane.

Also part of the project is a new signal at that intersection and five-foot sidewalks on each side of Kingston Pike.

Smith said the Town is responsible for purchasing right-of-way, widening the bridge and grading. TDOT was responsible for the rest of the project.

Commissioner Ron Honken asked if the design included a deceleration lane for westbound traffic on Kingston Pike to turn right onto Everett Road.

Smith said it didn’t.

Right-of-way was very tight at the spot, he said, and a decel lane would have encroached into residents’ backyards too much.

Commission Chair Rita Holladay asked if the northbound sidewalk could be changed to a walking trail to match up with the walking trail already constructed in front of First Farragut United Methodist Church.

“Changing that at this point in the game would be very difficult,” Smith told her.

“We could be looking at an uphill battle if I made this change right now, but I can ask,” he added.

Smith said the plans were set years ago and had been vetted at multiple Town meetings.

But he said for “an unasked question, the answer is always no.”

Honken said he worried about a walking trail being put in rather than a sidewalk because a walking trail would have to be constructed closer to the road. Sidewalks normally are constructed five feet wide; walking trails must be at least eight feet wide.

And Honken said he didn’t like that the change in width would put the walking trail only a foot away from Kingston Pike.

“That is one of the fastest traveling areas of Kingston Pike. That is not a wise choice. ... It’s not safe,” he said.

Honken added the sidewalk wouldn’t be long enough to connect to the walking trail outside FFUMC anyway.

“It’s unfortunate that government works this way and that we have to plan things so far in advance [but] this is going to be a sidewalk to nowhere for a long time,” he said.

Honken moved to approve the design as it was, with a side note asking Darryl to call and ask if a change was possible. Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche seconded.

The motion was unanimously approved with Commissioner Ron Rochelle absent.


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