Watt Road-Kingston Pike plans told

A new project will reassign turn lanes on Watt Road at the intersection with Kingston Pike while also improving traffic signals and pedestrian routes.

At present, vehicles heading south on Watt Road toward Kingston Pike intersection must take the center lane in order to cross Kingston Pike, a lane town of Farragut engineer Darryl Smith said would generally

be considered the left turn

lane only.

“If you’re familiar with it and know where you’re going, that’s really not any big deal, but if you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a little odd. If you’re headed from the Interstate, as you approach Kingston Pike, and you want to make the through movement, you have to get into the center turn lane. That’s not really right, and it does throw people off a bit,” Smith said while speaking to Farragut Municipal Planning Commission Thursday, July 21.

As part of a lane reassignment, Smith said, the project would include separate southbound Watt Road lanes at the intersection for a left turn east and a right turn west onto the Pike, plus a southbound center lane exclusively for through movement.

Improvements also include removal of islands to the north side of the intersection and replacement of traffic signal mast arm poles.

The project would extend sidewalks, connecting pedestrian routes south of Kingston Pike along Watt Road and completing the connection to Mayor Bob Leonard Park.

Smith also said the project would tighten radius returns to improve new pedestrian crossings. “This is actually a very important pedestrian facility.”

Smith said current cost estimate for project construction was $500,000, adding Tennessee Department of Transportation would pay about half and Farragut the rest.

Smith said TDOT also would manage the construction and bid-letting.

“Makes my job a lot easier … It’s a win for all of us,” he said.

Noah Myers, FMPC member, said he liked the changes.

“These are great improvements. We appreciate you working on it and getting somebody else’s money to pay for half of it. It’s our money. It’s just it’s not our Town’s money,” he said.

Smith said the Town also would pay for engineering design and acquisition of easements. He said the Town had yet to figure out the cost for easements, but anticipated engineering costs to be about $115,000.

Smith said he anticipated construction to begin in 2017.

“That’s about the earliest the project could be let,” Smith said.

“No road closures will be required, but there will surely be lane closures as the project progresses.”

As Watt Road is three lanes wide, we don’t anticipate major disruptions in traffic.”