City to Hold Informational Meeting

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City to Hold Informational Meeting

Posted: 04/10/2008
The City of Knoxville is hosting an informational meeting about an upcoming road improvement project on the section of Pleasant Ridge Road between Merchant Drive and Interstate 640 that is expected to begin later this month.

The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, in the cafeteria of Northwest Middle School and should last about an hour.

Representatives from the city's Engineering Department, Thompson Engineering and Blalock & Sons will be present to explain the scope of the project and what it will mean for residents who live along that 1.3-mile-long section of Pleasant Ridge.

There will also be disruptions in the traffic flow along that section of the road during construction and they will outline those as well.

The $8.76 million road project is slated to begin as early as April 23, and is expected to conclude in mid-November of 2009.

It is a Tennessee Department of Transportation project but the City of Knoxville is administering it for TDOT and essentially will act as the owner/client for the work.

Blalock & Sons won the TDOT contract to do the construction and Thompson Engineering Inc. will work with the city to provide it with inspection work and other services.

The project includes widening what is mostly a two-lane road between Merchant Drive and I-640 into a three-lane road that includes a turning lane.

The project will also include a five-foot-wide concrete sidewalk on the north side of Pleasant Ridge and an eight-foot-wide asphalt greenway on the south side of the road. There will also be utility work along the road.

Because of the scope of the project there will be some significant changes in the traffic pattern - particularly to the east of Northwest Middle School - though the project managers are taking steps to reduce problems, particularly in relation to Northwest and the nearby West Haven Elementary.

The major changes in Phase I - from approximately April 23, 2008 until Nov. 30, 2008 - include:

Traffic will be reduced from four lanes to two lanes on Pleasant Ridge Road from Merchant Drive to Northwest Middle School's easternmost driveway allowing for one lane of traffic in each direction.

From Northwest Middle School's easternmost driveway to Rambling Road traffic will be reduced to one eastbound lane, which will flow away from Merchant Drive toward I-640. Westbound traffic on that section will be detoured from Pleasant Ridge Road to Wilson Road, Gap Road, Clinton Highway, Merchant Drive and back to Pleasant Ridge.

During Phase II of the project - from November 30, 2008 until November 15, 2009 - there will be two lanes of traffic open - one in each direction - along the entire 1.3-mile long project.

To reduce impact on the schools none of Northwest Middle School's entrances will be disturbed until after school is out in June. At least one of the entrances to the school - and the access to the greenway which connects to Victor Ashe Park and various playing fields - will always be open.

Other work in the school zones will be minimized between the morning and afternoon hours when students are arriving or leaving school.