Dixie Lee reply
I appreciate the opportunity to respectfully reply to the comments in the farragutpress’ Letters to the Editor, Aug. 18, 2016, regarding the proposed [Tennessee Department of Transportation] project at Dixie Lee Junction.
The commenter incorrectly stated that the project at Dixie Lee Junction is entirely in Lenoir City. The project is not within the town of Lenoir City limits but is directly at the west end of the town of Farragut limits and exists within the county of Loudon. It literally touches the intersection of Kingston Pike and Harrison Road, which borders the west end of Farragut.
Further, the commenter concerns himself with “Farragut-onians” traveling west into Lenoir City and mentions that the only thing needed at present is a turn lane into Ace Hardware or other businesses.
I would like to point out that motorists travel both eastward AND westward and meet at the junction. Many of those eastbound motorists are traveling to the town of Farragut where they patronize many offices and businesses located there.
I can count 11 places within a few feet of the existing junction that allow ingress and egress to Highway 11, making this a very dangerous area that is prone to accidents. Before pulling out from Highway 70 onto Highway 11, one would be prudent to visibly check all 11 of these places and then check again.
The commenter’s referral to “lightly trafficked” eastbound US 70 is not accurate. Traffic on Highway 70 depends on the time of day and circumstances. At times, there is a flow of traffic entering the junction from Two Rivers church. There have been numerous occasions when an accident on I-40 near Watt Road has caused bumper-to-bumper backup where motorists use Highway 70 as a detour. In addition, plans are underway for building a new high school at Wilkerson Road and Highway 70, which will most certainly add additional traffic and school buses.
The commenter is correct that TDOT examined a number of alternatives in the redesign of the junction. One of those alternatives was indeed a roundabout/traffic circle; however, TDOT wisely looked to the future and decided that a roundabout/traffic circle would not continue to handle the predicted growth of traffic along those routes.
Finally, the commenter opined that he has e-mailed Congressman John J. Duncan Jr. to request a further look at the project and to withhold federal funding. I also intend to e-mail Congressman Duncan to urge him to encourage TDOT to do all they can to hasten the completion of this much-needed project. The safety of all motorists who travel both directions through that junction is of primary concern. The sooner this accident-prone area is im-proved, the better for all.