From SR 33 to SR 73 (US 321) in Blount County.
Western Shift Chosen for Preferred Alternative
On Monday, July 29, 2013, TDOT announced that the west alignment shift at the southern end of the Preferred Alternative has been selected for the Pellissippi Parkway Extension (State Route 162) project in Blount County.
TDOT held an Informal Briefing on Thursday, May 30, 2013 in the project area. The purpose of the briefing was to inform potentially affected residents and businesses of minor shifts (east and west) in the alignment of the Preferred Alternative near the southern terminus of the proposed project (as identified in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement). A shift is necessary to avoid a recently identified environmentally sensitive (archaeology) area.
Click here to view the media release.
Prior to modification of the Preferred Alternative, TDOT held a Community Briefing on May 30, 2013 to offer those potentially impacted by the modification, a minor shift to either the east or west, an opportunity to see and comment on the shifts under TDOT consideration. Click here to view the briefing flyer (pdf) and materials made available at the briefing.
Modification of the Preferred Alternative
Following the selection of the Preferred Alternative in 2012, the Phase II archaeological investigations revealed one site that has been determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Since the Preferred Alternative had already been analyzed and selected over the other Build Alternatives, TDOT focused on identifying potential avoidance options via minor alignment shifts in the vicinity of the sensitive portion of the eligible archaeology site, rather than major shifts of the alignment. TDOT identified and investigated two possible minor shifts in the route of the Preferred Alternative, between Davis Ford Road and US 321/SR 73 (the southern terminus of the project).
The two minor alignment shifts are identified below and illustrated in the figure below
The typical section of each alignment shift would be the same as defined for the Preferred Alternative: a four-lane divided roadway with a 48-foot depressed median. The avoidance shifts would each be about 1.4 miles in length.
TDOT investigated potential archaeology, noise, ecology, farmland, relocations and environmental justice impacts for each shift.
The two potential alignment shifts and the impacts of these shifts were presented to the public at a Community Briefing held on May 30, 2013 in the project area. The meeting was attended by 136 persons, and approximately 150 comments were received by the close of the comment period (June 15, 2013).
In making the determination of the alignment shift, TDOT considered the amount and type of impacts of each shift and the potential to mitigate adverse effects. TDOT also gave consideration to public input received during the May 30th Community Briefing and the associated comment period.
TDOT has determined that the alignment of the Preferred Alternative would be best modified by the west shift for the following reasons:
The schedule to complete the FEIS and the Record of Decision (ROD) has been adjusted to take into account additional steps that have been identified in 2013.
The expected schedule to complete the FEIS and ROD as shown below is dependent upon expeditious agency reviews.