Almost 10 years since planning began for town of Farragut’s largest project without state or federal matching funds, almost $4 million, the .94-mile Everett Road project completion was celebrated late last week.
A brief ribbon-cutting ceremony on Everett Road in the Town’s northwest quadrant, just south of the Eisenhower Street en-trance to the still developing McKinley Station subdivision, featured Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen plus three Town administration project leaders Friday morning, Dec. 16.
With planning for the project beginning in 2007 and groundbreaking in early July 2015, the entire .94 of a mile was opened “around Nov. 26,” Darryl Smith, Town engineer, said. “The roadway was finished in phases, so that the northern half of the project, north of Smith Road, could be re-opened in early August.”
“It’s a big deal, and it’s been a long time coming. But here we are, and it’s going to be great,” Mayor Ralph McGill said.
“The project provides two 12-foot travel lanes, with curb, gutter and pedestrian facilities. The pedestrian facilities include walking trail on the west side for the entire length, with sidewalk on the east side from Union Road to Smith [Road], then walking trail on the east side north of Smith Road to the end of project,” Smith said. “Additionally, we are extending a sidewalk between St. Andrews and Union Road on the east, so the whole project will be connected with existing sidewalks at Kingston Pike.”
“It’s a loop for the cyclists, so this is a favorite riding spot for them,” South Ward Alderman Ron Williams said.
In terms of wider lanes, “It will be safer, particularly for the school buses,” Williams added.
North Ward Alderman Louise Povlin, a northwest quadrant resident, said, “I have gotten some feedback from my neighbors and they’re very excited that they are able to finally get out on these trails and run. And it connects more of this area so that they are able to enjoy a longer run.
Such a run before the project “was very hazardous,” Povlin added.
“This portion of Everett Road currently carries about 3,200 vehicles per day, and its width and geometry were both deficient,” Smith said. “… Obviously, we now have a much safer roadway, with pedestrian connections.”
“This is our largest project. We’re proud of it,” David Smoak, Town administrator, said. “This has taken several years for us to save enough money to make this happen. But the ultimate goal is to have a safer roadway through here, along with the walking trail to be able to connect people, the pedestrians, to the different neighborhoods that are around here.”
“Overall I think it’s going to be great for economic development, for the residential area around here,” Smoak added. “Hopefully the residents will love it.”
South Ward Alderman Ron Pinchok and David Sparks, Town assistant engineer, joined McGill, Smoak, Povlin, Williams and Smith during the ceremony.
In terms of individual credit, “I think David Sparks deserves all the credit we can throw at him,” Smith said. “Managing construction projects can often be frustrating work, and David’s professional conduct and attention to detail have helped make this project successful.”
As for outside firms, “Robert G. Campbell & Associates [engineering design], Qk4 [construction engineering and Inspection] and of course, McKinnon Construction Company, our contractor,” Smith said.