Unclogging North Campbell Station

$48 million from state for redesign of exit from, entrance to 40/75

“Persistence” by area state politicians and top Town of Farragut officials over a handful of years, and the realities of a Tennessee Department of Transportation Corridor Study, led to $48 million in state funds being appropriated for a “completely redesigned” Campbell Station Road Exit and entrance onto Interstate 40/75, it was announced late last week.

Looking to unclog traffic issues backing up from this Interstate exit south to the North Campbell Station-Parkside Drive intersection, the Corridor Study “looked at the failing exits, and Campbell Station was the worst in East Tennessee on I-40,” Farragut Mayor Ron Williams said. “We’ve been working on this for six years. … We’re very fortunate.

“In the mornings we have quite a bit of traffic coming across the ridge going to the schools,” he added. “That clogs up the exit, and it also clogs up Campbell Station, people coming down to Kingston Pike, whether it be the primary school or the other three schools.

“Then in the afternoon

you have the same thing.”

The redesigned exit, however, “Will be able to carry a minimum of at least four times more traffic,” Williams said.

The mayor estimated “three to five years is what you would consider a realistic time” before ground is broken for the new design to start taking shape, adding the design “is in its infancy stages” of development.

However, “You don’t know how long it might take because you get into right-of-way acquisition and all of that,” he added. “… There’s a whole lot that goes into doing a project of that magnitude.”

Pointing out that I-40/75 reduces from four lanes to three lanes west of the Lovell Road Exit — with both Interstate directions of the Campbell Station Road exit only three lanes — “In the future, I think what you’ll see … whenever they do our exit, it’ll be (expanded) to eight-lanes (four in each direction),” Williams said. “Same way with Watt Road, you’ll see eight lanes all the way to the (I-40/75) split” in Loudon County.

This expansion “will keep people on the Interstate and keep people off Kingston Pike” who might otherwise exit onto Campbell Station Road due to a traffic accident or simple late afternoon high volumes, the mayor said.

Expanding the Interstate to eight lanes from Lovell Road Exit to the split, however, will be “piecemealed,” or built in small sections at a time, the mayor said, because the funding “all has to come out of different pockets.”

As for the $48 million for Campbell Station Road Exit, “That’s what they call surplus money in the General Fund,” Williams said about the state appropriation.

Obtaining this appropriation is “just persistence from our legislators and myself and Darryl (Smith, Town engineer) and David (Smoak, Town administrator),” Williams said. “We just stayed after it.”

On the state level, “On behalf of the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen, I’d like to thank Gov. Bill Lee and his staff, along with our hard-working legislators — Rep. Jason Zachary (R-District 14), Sen. Richard Briggs (R-District 7), Sen. Becky Duncan Massey (R-District 6) and Rep. Justin Lafferty (R-District 89) for proposing funding for improvements to the Campbell Station Road/I-40/I-75 interchange,” Williams stated in an e-mail.

Massey, further able to help as a member of the state Senate’s Transportation Committee, “called me and let me know; she gave me the heads-up on it,” Williams said.

Of the roughly $660 million appropriated for 22 projects statewide, “Knox County is the only one that’s got two,” the mayor said.