Early plans show ‘major change’ for Elk Avenue

Published 10:01 am Monday, September 22, 2014

After years of discussion, the early plans for the West Elk Avenue expansion and related projects have been presented to the city.
City Manager Jerome Kitchens said he will meet with Tennessee Department of Transportation officials Thursday in Knoxville to discuss the early stages of the work.
However, he cautioned that the plans were early, and that road construction isn’t expected to start for a few years.
“The earliest expected date for construction to start is in 2017,” Kitchens said. “I hope that there will be some sort of time line available at the meeting so that we can discuss what will be happening.”
Kitchens said the projects included in the plans stretched from the Broad Street and U.S. Highway 19E intersection at Food City to the West Elk Avenue and G Street/Elizabethton Highway intersection on the west side of town.
He said a large portion of the work on that stretch of road included repaving and restriping the street surface.
The majority of the work will be found starting from the area of Pal’s to the Roan Street intersection. That stretch of road will be widened to include a turn lane, and the intersection of Roan Street, Elk Avenue and Broad Street will be reworked.
“It appears there will be a major change at the Roan Street intersection,” Kitchens said.
For traffic heading west on East Elk Avenue, once they arrive at the stop light at Roan Street they will have to turn right in front of the Shell Station and then left at the next red light to proceed on West Elk Avenue.
The portion of West Elk Avenue that goes from the traffic light at Prosound east to the Roan Street traffic light will be turned into one-way west flowing traffic.
Kitchens provided city council members with copies of the plans and asked them to submit any questions, changes or other input so that TDOT would know about them earlier in the process.
TDOT announced in April 2012 that long-discussed State Route 91 improvements would be expanding West Elk Avenue to include a center turn lane from Roan Street to Holly Lane. Sidewalk improvements and paving from West G Street to U.S. Highway 19E were also included.

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