City Receives TDOT Grant for Intersection Improvements

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City Receives TDOT Grant for Intersection Improvements

Posted: 03/26/2014
March 26, 2014 - The City of Knoxville has been awarded a Multimodal grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation for improvements to the Merchant Drive/Clinton Highway intersection. The grant is for a $1 million total budget, with TDOT providing 95 percent and the City covering a 5 percent local match.

"This is an exciting project because it makes the area around the intersection of Merchant Drive and Clinton Highway much friendlier to pedestrians and improves access to transit while improving motor vehicle flow through the intersection," said Jim Hagerman, the City's director of engineering.

The project will extend on Merchant Drive from Marguerite Road to Ridgefield Road and on Clinton Highway from Orchid Drive to Harriett Place and make the following improvements:

Realign the left turns, allowing left-turn traffic to run concurrently and eliminating the need for separate left-turn phases. Add appropriate pedestrian crossing times to the signal. Convert flushed-painted channelization islands to raised channelization islands, providing pedestrian refuges with pedestrian crosswalk markings on all four legs of the intersection. Improve the sidewalks on each of the corners to provide ADA compliant access at the intersection and add new sidewalk on all four legs of the intersection. Extend the sidewalk improvements from the intersection to provide pedestrian access to the eight nearby Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) bus stops on two bus routes, a public library, local retail, and churches. Currently, of the eight (KAT) stops in this area, only two are accessible via dedicated pedestrian facilities. Modify curb lines along Clinton Highway at the intersection to maintain a minimum of 4' shoulders for bicyclists, and designate the westbound right-turn lane as a combined bicycle/right turn lane with a shared lane marking or sharrow.

"In its existing configuration, the intersection discourages pedestrian activity and operates inefficiently due to geometrics that require left turns to run in separate phases resulting in noticeable delays for all modes and inadequate crossing time for pedestrians," explained Hagerman.

Local funds were approved in Fiscal Year 2013 for design of this work. Construction will require an additional $600,000 in local funds.