It's official! Westland Drive's new drainage system was dedicated Monday afternoon by City officials, residents and the project construction team.
Today, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and members of City Council cut a ribbon and officially dedicated a $2.2 million reconstruction of infrastructure that will correct longstanding flooding problems along Westland Drive.
View a video from today's ribbon-cutting below:
The Westland Drive drainage improvement project is the City's fourth major flood-control project since 2013. The four projects represent a total investment of $9 million.
“For many years, every time it rained heavily, Westland Drive would become flooded with water, making it unsafe and often impassable,” Mayor Rogero said. “The drainage system that we replaced couldn’t handle the runoff, which not only made the road dangerous, but it also resulted in flash flooding. I’m pleased that the City’s engineers and the project team have added capacity to this drainage system that will greatly reduce flooding on this heavily-traveled street.”
Vice Mayor Duane Grieve called the old and inadequate drainage system "a safety hazard," adding: "Persistent flooding problems have plagued this area for many years. The old drainage system would be overwhelmed. ... It was really a mess."
Included in the Westland Drive Drainage and Bridge Improvements Project:
- A new 1,000-foot-long drainage system along the north side of Westland Drive near Craig Road;
- A new 14-by-7-foot box culvert under Westland Drive near Craigland Court that replaced an aging bridge;
- Improvements to the shoulder of Westland Drive near Rotherwood Drive for improved traffic safety;
- New twin 8-by-3-foot concrete box culverts beneath four driveways that improve system capacity and reduce the frequency of debris blockages; and
- A wider 10-foot shoulder along Westland Drive that increases vehicular and pedestrian safety.
Constructing the infrastructure cost $1.8 million. Design work and purchase of right-of-way tracts brought the total cost to about $2.2 million. Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers served as the project designer, and the construction contractor was Southern Constructors Inc.
The Westland Drive improvements mark the third of three major flood-control projects that the City has completed in the past 13 months. In January 2015, the City officially opened a reconstructed $1.6 million Prosser Road in East Knoxville. Then, in October, Mayor Rogero and City Council members dedicated a new $3.7 million drainage system designed to address years of flash flooding on Cross Park Drive.
A fourth project in 2013, a $1.5 million stormwater drainage upgrade on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, corrected periodic flooding between South Beaman Street and South Castle Street. The project included new sidewalks and other infrastructure.
This large box culvert is part of the flood-control solution on Westland Drive.
Box culverts beneath driveways will resist getting clogged by debris.