More roadwork to come

Motorists traveling in and around Farragut are seeing roadwork and may expect to see more in the near future. While Knox County has a crew shoring up North Campbell Station Road just past Farragut’s town limits, Tennessee Department of Transportation is on schedule for the $14.7 million Concord Road project.

“The project is currently on schedule to be let to construction in August 2018,” said Mark Nagy, TDOT community relations officer for Region 1. “We are currently in the right-of-way stage, and acquisition is being finalized.

“There are a few remaining properties that TDOT is finalizing agreements with,” he added. “The next step is project letting,” Nagy said. “The project is currently scheduled to be let to construction (companies) in August 2018,” he said. “TDOT is preparing the notice to contractors to allow bidding on the project to begin.”

While the exact duration has not been established yet, Nagy said construction is anticipated to take two years to complete.

He said TDOT will work on 0.93 miles of Concord Road, from Waterford Drive to Northshore Drive.

“The proposed project includes widening the existing facility from a two-lane roadway to a four- to five-lane roadway,” Nagy said, adding the project includes curb and gutter, sidewalk, shared-used path and bike lanes.

“The five-lane section extends from Turkey Creek Road to Loop Road,” he said. “The four-lane section with raised median extends from Loop Road to Northshore Drive.

“A right-turn lane is to be added at the intersection of State Route 332 (Concord Road) and Turkey Creek Road.

“The limits of the Town of Farragut extend mainly along the western half of the roadway,” he noted. “Knox County’s limits are the eastern portion of the roadway, as well as the area surrounding the intersection of Northshore Drive at State Route 332.”

Nagy said no detours during construction are proposed.

“Traffic is to be maintained along the route during construction,” he added.

The total cost estimate in the Knoxville Transportation Planning Organization Transportation Improvement (TIP) Program for Concord Road is $14,708,140. He explained the project is an 80-20 split with 80 percent coming from federal funding and 20 percent coming from state funds. “Town of Farragut has agreed to pay for upgrades to decorative lighting along the project, Nagy said.

In another part of Farragut and West Knox County, Charles Blalock & Sons Construction crew is securing North Campbell Station Road from Ridgeland Drive, enroute to Hardin Valley, to Hickory Creek.

Knox County Commissioner John Schoonmaker, 5th District (including Farragut and Concord), said the project also is on schedule.

“Currently, we’ve closed a portion of (North) Campbell Station Road — just past the Farragut town limits and Ridgeland Drive to just south of Edison Drive,” Schoonmaker said Thursday, July 5.

He explained the construction company is building a 70-foot retaining wall, which will be approximately 20 feet tall, to keep the road in place; a new sub-base and asphalt; and new guardrails.

“If you’ve been on Campbell Station Road, you probably remember coming around the curve, and it’s a really forested area, but on the left-hand side of the road — as you are going north on Campbell Station Road — it’s just a sharp drop off, and it goes down to Hickory Creek,” he said. “What’s happened over the years is, we’ve tried to patch it, try to repair it.

“Now, the guard rails have been damaged so many times (that for safety the work) just needed to all be done.”

“It’s on track and it should be done by the end of July,” Schoonmaker said.

Another project on the horizon is improvements to Canton Hollow Road, which is expected to begin sometime in April 2019.

“That’s going to end up being a $7 million project for Knox County,” which is taking on the cost for the entire project, Schoonmaker said.

“I think (the project) will be a big improvement,” he added.

Schoonmaker explained the county is funding the $7 million because a couple years ago, Canton Hollow Road was rated as the worst road in Knox County based on accident data.

“Like (North) Campbell Station Road, (Canton Hollow Road is) just an old farm road (but) … the traffic flow is incredible,” he said. “It’s one of those things it’s a necessity to do, but if you don’t have the money, you’ve got to wait to have the money to do it.

“Because of the funding structure — obviously we don’t have $7 million sitting in our account to just go out and do a road — we actually had to put (the funding) in three different budget years,” Schoonmaker said. “We actually started in July of last year, (when Knox County Commission budgeted about $500,000 to start the engineering process and state approval for that).”

Then on July 1 (2018), Schoonmaker said, “We put $1.5 million into an account, and that is for right-of-way acquisition.

“What we are going to do is on July 1 of next year (2019), we’re going to put in $5 million and will actually do all the work,” he said.

“Theoretically, (construction) will start sometime in April 2019.”