State Route 162 Pellissippi Parkway ExtensionBlount County
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). TDOT investigated potential archaeology, noise, ecology, farmland, relocations and environmental justice impacts for each shift.
The two minor alignment shifts considered are identified below. (To view an illustration of the alignment shifts, click here.)
- The east alignment shift would move the ROW about 300 feet eastward, away from the Kensington Place mobile home community and toward the developing Sweetgrass Plantation subdivision.
- The west alignment shift would move the ROW about 150 feet to the west into the mobile home community. The overall length of the west shift is shorter and the amount of right-of-way required is less. The west shift minimizes the impacts to the operations of two active farms.
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.
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.
On July 29, 2013, TDOT announced that the west alignment shift at the southern end of the project had been selected to modify the Preferred Alternative. 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.
The reasons for the selection of the West Shift are:
- The West Shift minimizes impacts to the operations of two active farms.
- The West Shift is farther away from a recently constructed church, thus minimizing potential access impacts to the church.
- With either alignment shift, Kensington Place residents would experience increased noise levels compared to the no-build scenario. With the East Shift, the mobile home community would not be eligible for a noise barrier for this community. With the West Shift the mobile home community would be eligible for a noise barrier that will reduce noise and visual impacts provided that the majority of benefited residents and property owner(s) give their approval. TDOT will also allow the Kensington Place residents to have input into the landscaping and color/patterns for the noise barrier.
- Though the west shift increases impacts to streams, wetlands, and floodplains, these will be minimized during the design and permitting process of the project.
- Since the mobile home community is not completely occupied, any displaced resident who wants to stay within their existing community may be able to relocate to one of the numerous site pads available, if they so choose.
While there would be adverse impacts within Kensington Place with the West Shift, TDOT and FHWA have determined through an environmental justice analysis that these impacts would not change the finding of the approved DEIS, and that the project would have no disproportionately high and adverse impacts to minority and low-income populations compared with the rest of the corridor pursuant to Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Executive Order 12898.
Conceptual plans for the Preferred Alternative (with the west alignment shift) can be downloaded here or viewed at the following locations.
|Blount County Public Library
508 N Cusick Street
Maryville, TN 37804
|Blount County Chamber of Commerce
201 S Washington Street
Maryville, TN 37804
|Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization
400 Main Street Suite 403
Knoxville, TN 37902
|TDOT Region 1
7345 Region Lane
Knoxville, TN 37914
Please keep in mind, alternative alignments are conceptual during the NEPA evaluation process, and these conceptual plans are subject to change. A preferred alternative concept in the Environmental phase of a project is not yet a final design. After the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is approved and the Record of Decision (ROD) is issued, TDOT’s Design Division will prepare detailed engineering plans for the project. When field surveys are conducted during final design, TDOT will be able to determine right-way limits, edges of pavement, location of shoulders and, for those areas in which it is proposed, curb and gutters, and sidewalk widths. Until the final design plans are prepared, it is not possible to know specifically how a particular property and property owner will be impacted by the project.
The schedule to complete the FEIS and ROD has been adjusted to take into account additional steps that were identified in 2013.
- Evaluation of alignment options to avoid an identified environmentally sensitive (archaeological) site
- An update of the project's traffic forecasts and operational analysis based on the June 2013 update to the Knoxville regional traffic model
- Preparation of a reevaluation of the DEIS since more than 3 years have passed since the DEIS was circulated
The expected schedule to complete the FEIS and ROD as shown below is dependent upon expeditious agency reviews.
- FHWA issues FEIS - Summer 2015
- FHWA issues ROD - End of 2015