TDOT offers additional funding for linear path project

Published 4:37 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

There could soon be light at the end of a tunnel for an ongoing project within the City of Elizabethton.

City Council learned Thursday evening that TDOT is willing to increase the total amount of a grant to help offset the increased cost of construction to complete the Elizabethton Linear Trail. Council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to a contract already on the books with TDOT to cover the cost.

For almost 30 years, the completion of the Linear Path has been eyed by the city. During the last fiscal year, Council gave the OK for plans on Phase IV and V to move forward but learned earlier this year that anticipated costs would double, causing the city to rethink the sections to be completed.

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Jon Hartman, Elizabethton Planning and Economic Development director, told Council that once TDOT was made aware of the situation, they responded by saying they would increase the total amount of the grant in order to handle the increase in the project.

With the approval, the contract with the city and TDOT now shows that the anticipated completion date for the project is on or before Nov. 19, 2020, instead of the Nov. 19, 2018 date listed.

Phase IV of the project begins at the termination point of the existing trail behind Lowe’s, near Overmountain Drive, and ends at Sycamore Shoals State Park. Phase V begins at the termination point of the trail along Race Street and ends at the termination point of the existing trail along Riverside Drive. While TDOT agreed to additional funding, Hartman added the city is having to go through a revision of all deeds part of the trail area.

Council also unanimously agreed to approve an agreement with TDOT to fund improvements to the signal at US 19E and Broad Street. The total cost of the project is $660,000. Grant funding will cover the cost of the project with no cost to the city.


A handful of improvements are also on the way for Elizabethton City Schools.

Council voted unanimously to allocate $275,000 from the half-cent sales tax to fund projects by the school system. According to information provided by the school system, $150,000 of the funding will go to match a $320,000 grant award at Elizabethton High School to fund the creation of six new classrooms to accommodate the Bartleby Program’s expansion. Property that formerly housed the hospital near the school on Rogosin Drive will also receive $85,000 for the creation of soccer fields. The remaining $40,000 will go toward a new roof at ECS Central Office.


In other highlights from the meeting, Council issued a proclamation to Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition to recognize National Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31. CCDP will host a community event on Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to recognize the event at the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library. Council also approved a measure to provide outgoing City Deputy Fire Chief Rusty Barnett over $4,000 in retirement benefits. Barnett is retiring from EFD Aug. 31 and will assume the role as Carter County Mayor on Sept. 1. A retirement celebration for Barnett will be held Aug. 31 from noon until 2 p.m. at Fire Station 1 near City Hall.