Q: What is the purpose of this project?
A: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has allocated funding for the project's development to meet the purpose and need involving current passenger and freight transportation demands, to address safety and congestion concerns, to support the current and future pattern of development, to provide good access to the businesses located in the vicinity of the interchange. Minimizing the acquisition of businesses and impacts to the environment is high priority also. This concept mitigates the most critical safety and congestion issue and does so in a cost-effective manner allowing the Department to be good stewards of the tax payer's money.
Q: What are the limits to this project?
A: The I-640 Interchange Improvements was divided into two phases due to funding. Phase I of the project was completed in 2002 and included improvements south of I-640. The interchange project limits for Phase 2 as approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) focusing on the north side of I-640 to the intersection of Broadway and Old Broadway
Q: How will pedestrian and bicycle traffic move through this intersection using Old Broadway?
A: The reconstruction and widening of Old Broadway to accommodate a bike/pedestrian trail is outside the project limits. The Department has initiated workshops with the City's Park and Recreation's office for the potential of utilizing a portion of Old Broadway, Tazewell Pike and Dutch Valley Drive thru Grant money specifically designated to assist local entities in Greenway development. The Department does see benefits in linking communities, parks, and commercial areas on projects when the safety of the motorists and public using the facility is not jeopardized.
Q: Concerned about the relocation and property buying process time for those who will be losing their properties to the proposed project. What is the process?
A: TDOT will provide advance notifications of impending ROW acquisition, and before acquiring ROW will have all properties appraised on the basis of comparable sales and land use values in the area. Owners of property to be acquired will be offered and paid fair market value for their property. No person lawfully occupying real property will be required to move with our 90 days written notice of the intended vacation date, an d no occupant of a residential property will be required to move until decent, safe, and sanitary replacement housing is made available.
Q: What is the speed limit through the construction zone?
A: The speed limit will remain as posted until the roadway conditions would warrant a change. In order, to keep the public safe, a speed reduction may be posted. All changes will be clearly marked. The Knoxville Police Department will be monitoring traffic through the project.
Q: How many lanes of traffic will be maintained during construction?
A: Two lanes of traffic (1 in each direction) will be maintained during construction on Broadway. Temporary lane closures are necessary to complete the project. However, when lane closures are required they will be scheduled during off peak travel times.
Q: What is the cost of the project?
A: Projected costs between $15 to $20 Million
Q: Will there be work on both sides of the road or only one?
A: Utilities and roadway construction will occur on both sides of the existing roadway.
Q: Will street lighting be maintained throughout the project duration?
A: The light poles will need to come down for utility relocation and roadway construction purposes. As roadway construction progresses, new light poles will replace the existing for illumination of the roadway.
Q: Some of this area is commercial. What has been the reaction of businesses to the project?
A: Impacted property owners project have been positive. A consensus of opinion from the property owners is that they recognize the need to address the capacity issues and to improve the vehicle and pedestrian safety by correcting the horizontal and vertical geometrics of the alignment along with the side streets.