The widening of State Route 73, US 321 in Gatlinburg, from Glades Road to State Route 416 was designed in two phases. Phase I, widening the road from Glades Road to Buckhorn Road, was completed in 2006. Phase II, from Buckhorn Road to East of State Route 416, is not yet constructed. The public desired greater input in Phase 2 design, so in 2005 TDOT announced that this phase would be developed with a Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) process.
A Community-Based Resource Team (CBRT) was assembled from members of the community to work with TDOT to create a proposed improvement concept. This community-based template includes wide, undisturbed, naturally landscaped medians with sidewalks and trails connecting the community with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).
This public and agency input was incorporated into the state-funded draft Tennessee Environmental Evaluation Report (TEER). Currently the project has funding to complete the environmental document.
Project Location Map.
In 2011, the Department decided to move the project forward using federal funds. This required the Department to convert the state-level TEER document into a federal-level Environmental Assessment (EA) document, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
After completion, anticipated timelines for remaining development phases will be determined.
Kenneth R. Henson, EI
Daniel Oliver, P.E., R.L.S.