Delays for intersection improvements ‘won’t be bad’

Town of Farragut will be making improvements this year to two intersections, but Town engineer Darryl Smith assured any motorists’ inconvenience
Town of Farragut will be making improvements this year to two intersections, but Town engineer Darryl Smith assured any motorists’ inconvenience “won’t be bad.”

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission gave Smith a unanimous green light on the proposed improvement plans during its meeting Thursday, Jan. 17.

“The roads will not be closed,” Smith said after the meeting about the two projects. “There may be some temporary lane closures, but traffic will be allowed to pass through.”

Depending on when bids are let, he expects work at the Watt Road-Kingston Pike intersection to begin by the end of March and to be completed in the fall.

Smith said bids on the Campbell Station and Snyder roads project would be put out in the spring.

“It wouldn’t be more than a three- or four-month construction (period),” he added.

Smith told FMPC the project to make improvements to the Kingston Pike-Watt Road intersection has been on the Town’s plate for quite a while.

When Watt Road was extended to Old Stage Road in 2014, he said, “We realized lane assignments at this intersection with Watt Road, they’re just wrong.

“If you’re coming south on Watt Road from the Interstate and, typically, you are in the through lane on Watt Road, you are forced to make a right turn,” Smith added. “In order to make a through movement you have to go to the left-turn lane.”

The proposed plan calls for extended pedestrian crossings, signal light improvements, a right-turn lane on Watt Road westbound to Lenoir City and closing of the existing entrance from Watt Road to Dixie Lee Wines & Liquors, which would be relocated to the rear of the store.

“This allows for a much safer access point to Watt Road,” Smith said, adding the existing access is “just too close to he intersection for smooth operation.

“Talking with Dixie Lee (Wines &) Liquors, they are happy. They like the idea,” he added.

The project’s bids are being let by Tennessee Department of Transportation. Plans were scheduled to be turned in to TDOT Friday, Jan. 18.

“We’re hoping for a March 29 letting,” Smith said. “(TDOT) will manage construction of it.

“We’re assuming this could probably be done over the next six months after the letting,” he added.

The next project involved the intersection of North Campbell Station and Snyder roads.

“This is a project we added to our (Capital Improvement Projects budget) in the last year,” Smith said.

The Town plans to extend the right southbound lane on Campbell Station Road to the intersection with Snyder Road to “introduce a double left-turn movement from westbound Snyder Road to Campbell Station Road,” Smith said.

The intent is to relieve traffic congestion, or “stacking,” in that area.

He explained, in 2009, the Town extended an additional southbound lane from the Interstate-40/75 westbound on-ramp to the north of Campbell Station Road to improve efficiency.

Then in 2012, Knox County completed construction of Snyder Road, relocating the eastern Snyder Road approach to its current location.

“This route has become increasingly popular,” Smith said.

As such, he added, “the westbound left-turn movement from Snyder Road onto southbound Campbell Station Road is particularly heavy during peak hours.”