Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen was given three options to connect the Turkey Creek Greenway between Brixworth and Sheffield subdivisions during a workshop before its regular meeting Thursday, May 11.
While no action was taken at the workshop, Town administrator David Smoak said the greenway connection is a “project that is in the current budget to review for the possibility to see what some different alignments might be in order to connect the end of Turkey Creek Greenway from Brixworth down to the Sheffield subdivision.”
“Back in January, you entered into a contract with LDA Engineering to create functional plans for extension of the Turkey Creek Greenway,” Town engineer Darryl Smith said, adding the greenway eventually would connect to Virtue Road.
“We’ve been looking at studies since January to bridge this gap in the greenway system,” said Jason Elliott, principal engineer with LDA Engineering. “This section is difficult to traverse. We’re not going straight into design because we need to evaluate how can we get through this area.
“That’s why there are gaps in this greenway,” he added. “Gaps represent areas that are difficult to build these connections.
“We looked at three viable options. The first two, A and B, follow Turkey Creek Road. One of them is relatively close (to the road).”
With the A option, he would add a curve line along the north side of Turkey Creek Road and a 3-foot grass strip behind the curve. It would include improvements to Turkey Creek Road, including curb and gutter and widening of the road to create 11-foot lanes. He estimated the cost at $1.16 million.
“I know the goal is to get to 11-foot lanes, but even if we dropped to 10 1/2–foot lanes, we could add another extra foot of grass strip,” Vice Mayor Louise Povlin said. “The grass strip makes us more comfortable.”
The second option is similar to the A option, but there would be greater separation between the road and greenway of roughly 16 feet.
“You have that grass area that provides a level of comfort without having to add a curb and gutter,” Elliott said. Thus, he noted there would be no road improvements.
“This option could include a small trailhead at the vacant triangular property (12233 Turkey Creek Road) in the curve,” Smith added.
Elliott estimated the B option at $1.5 million, which includes $750,000 to acquire property.
“(Alternate) C is completely different from the first two,” Elliott said. “It’s about 75 percent longer because it takes a completely different route.”
The third option is a “cross-country” route through the common areas of Sheffield and Brixworth subdivisions, behind the residents’ homes.
“It also offers the possibility of separation from Turkey Creek (Road) altogether,” Elliott said. That option is estimated to cost $1.88 million.
“These are some pretty conservative ‘today’s’ dollars because we used some escalated unit prices to get to that construction,” Elliott added.
“My opinion is it needs to be a hybrid (of A and B options),” Mayor Ron Williams said. “I think if we start doing this, the curb and gutter would be important.”
At the same time, Alderman Drew Burnette said he wants to see the greenway spaced further from the road, and he wants the road improvements.
“We could combine A and B and make it work,” Elliott said.
Williams asked Elliott to come back with a hybrid design combining the first two options.