New traffic light for Virtue Road, Kingston Pike

The intersection of Kingston Pike and Virtue Road could get a traffic signal in early December.

Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen awarded a contract to Davis H. Elliot Co., Inc. at their meeting Thursday, June 9. The company received $166,800 for the contract.

“Population growth in southwest Knox County over the years has simply added enough traffic to warrant a signal at this location,” Darryl Smith, Town Engineer, said in an interview.

He said the contractor would complete the project Dec. 9.

At the BOMA meeting, Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche asked how long it would take the contractor to start.

“I would hope immediately, but on these signal projects like this, there is a long lead time for when they order the signal poles and mast arms. I think that’s probably the longest lead time,” Smith said. He said it could be as long as 16-18 weeks.

“I would like to see it done quicker than that, but we want to leave them plenty of time to get it installed,” he added, regarding the Dec. 9 completion date.

“Once you see activity going on, it will happen pretty quickly,” he said.

Smith said population growth had also warranted the previous installation of stoplights at Old Stage Road and Everett Road.

“The fact is, an unwarranted signal typically provides an unnecessary service, stopping traffic on a main roadway when there are already enough gaps for vehicles on the minor roadway to enter without undue risk. When a signal is warranted, traffic on both roadways has typically grown to the point that movement through the intersection, particularly on the minor road, is heavily restricted,” he said.

The amount set aside for the traffic signal in the FY 2016 Capital Investment Plan is $210,000. No other plans for traffic lights are part of the CIP.

Smith said Davis H. Elliot Company’s bid was one of three the Town received.

“We have not worked with David H. Elliot in the recent past, but we are aware of them,” he said.