Town wall is getting a makeover

After being bare for nearly 18 months, Town of Farragut’s retaining wall along Campbell Station Road is finally getting an official green light for a facelift.

Town administrator David Smoak presented a graphic last Thursday, July 25, to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen depicting a simple brick design that would cover the wall located between the westside entrance to Farragut High School and Sonja Drive.

The wall, which was completed in 2010 as part of the multi-lane widening of Campbell Station Road, previously had a simulated stone overlay that crumbled and cracked before being completely removed in February 2018.

Previous reports suggested design failure apparently occurred within the epoxy used to fasten the stone veneer to the wall itself.

While the Town did not construct the wall, it has had to contend with the ongoing issues and upkeep.

“We are looking at this as an option, but we could certainly do a different color or pattern,” Smoak said. “I’m looking for feedback on if you like the brick as an option.”

Mayor Ron Williams quickly responded he “would like to see this resolved tonight. I would love to have it done before the end of the year and looking nice for the (Town’) 40th anniversary,” which will be commemorated in January.

Aldermen Scott Meyer and Drew Burnette each suggested a consideration of stack stone within the design too.

“I don’t see it here, but if we could tie in stack stone it would be nice,” Meyer said.

Public Works director Bud McKelvey noted brick is the cheaper option, but also said stack stone could be considered in the design of what would be the wall’s top cap and columns.

Burnette asked about the “life expectancy” of the materials considered, and if the proposed changes could ensure the previous problems “would not be the result, ever again.”

McKelvey said he already was looking at using mechanical fasteners that would tie the bricks directly to the wall, adding, “It is what should have been done” to begin with. “We learned that lesson and will take care of it.”

Smoak suggested “more earth tones” be considered for the shade and said he would be gathering samples in his office in the near future for additional consideration.

No dollar amounts had been estimated at press deadline, but the 2020 Capital Improvement Budget has allotted $200,000 to cover the wall.