City planners approve 20-year transportation plan

Published 8:39 am Tuesday, May 7, 2024

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By Buzz Trexler

Star Correspondent

The Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission approved on Thursday night a 20-year transportation plan that will guide officials in improving the city’s transportation network.

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 Planning Director Rich DesGroseilliers said in an email Monday the plan, required by state law, will be brought before the City Council for approval sometime in July or August after the budget has been approved.

 According to the draft, the city adopted major thoroughfare plans in 1970 and 1987 but are “very much out of date.”

 The city is part of the Johnson City Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (JCMTPO) which under federal law must update its plan every five years. The most recent JCMTPO update was in 2022; the next update will be in 2026. Elizabethton is a voting member of the JCMTPO.

 The plan details five proposed road projects found in the JCMTPO 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP):

 — The structural rehabilitation of the historic covered bridge, which is a Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant project. The cost is estimated at $996,780, of which the federal share is $797,424.

— Creating a bicycle/pedestrian multi-use path along Hattie Avenue to connect the linear path at South Riverside Drive to the Tweetsie Trail at Cedar Avenue. The 10-foot-wide path would have a painted centerline that separates 5-foot lanes in each direction with a minimum 2-foot buffer between vehicular traffic. The cost is estimated at $360,000 and the federal share is $288,000. Surface Transportation Block Grant-Local (STBG-L) funds would be used to fund the project.

 — Constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Overmountain Drive and the Walmart access road, replacing the existing three-way stop intersection. The project, which would be paid for with STBG-L funds, will need TDOT approval. The cost is estimated at $380,000.

 — Extending Overmountain Drive from the current dead end so that it joins the hospital access road through the Ballad Health property. The project, which would be paid for with STBG-L funds, will need TDOT approval. The cost is estimated at $830,000.

 — Installation of a Traffic Management Center in the Elizabethton Engineering Department and placing CCTV cameras at various intersections along the state Route 91/67 corridor. The estimated cost of the project, which will need TDOT approval, is $727,000 and will be paid for with STBG-L funds.

 The next regularly scheduled meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at Elizabethton City Hall, 136 S. Sycamore St.

Visit to view the Transportation Plan draft.