Lenoir City Council heard Monday that the Harrison Road improvement project is ready to move forward.
Councilman Eddie Simpson told the board that engineering firm Cannon and Cannon, Inc., had investigated another option to improve the intersection, which would move the road over to the high school side to fill in the creek. After a preliminary study showed the new option would cost between $400,000 and $800,000, "they stopped it because they felt like that was something we wouldn't do, couldn't afford to do," he said.
The construction plan that will be used will include taking "minimum property" on the opposite side of the high school to make a turn lane. "A small amount of property and it also eliminates the water problem that they currently have," Simpson said.
Roadblocks in the environmental study have held the project up for about three months, he said.
"There have been a lot of little things that have held it up, but we are ready to move forward. The project timeline is somewhere by the end of this summer we will be starting construction if everything stays intact the way it is," he said.
Mayor Tony Aikens advised Amber Scott, Lenoir City human resources director, to notify property owners in the area.
The board also approved a memorandum between Tennessee Department of Transportation and Lenoir City that will define cost responsibilities for a future traffic signal at the westbound exit ramp of Interstate 40.
"This is the red light on I-40 where Love's truck stop is going to go in. That will be, of course, paid by Love's through the state," Aikens said.
Leslie Johnson, city code enforcement officer, confirmed that Love's Travel Stops will purchase and install the traffic signal.
"In order for this traffic light to be installed - because eventually it will be turned over to a city system - there has to be a memorandum of agreement as to who is going to be responsible for it. Considering it's a developer's project, we require Love's to provide documentation that they are responsible for the cost and installation of that," Johnson said.
In other business, the board:
● Opened the meeting for a 6:45 p.m. public hearing to change the Lenoir City Zoning Code public election sign structure definitions and regulations. No visitors commented on the ordinance.
● Approved the minutes of the April 23 meeting and April 30 special called meeting.
● Approved the second and final reading of an ordinance that will restructure public election signage definitions and regulations within city limits. The time frame of the signage on public property and right-of-ways will be reduced from 60 to 30 days prior to a city, primary or general election. The signs must also be removed three days following election day.
● Canceled the May 28 city council meeting because of the Memorial Day holiday.
● Adopted a resolution on the request of the city of Harriman to jointly support a Veterans Administration Hospital in Roane County, which would be centrally located at 145 miles between two existing veterans hospitals in Murfreesboro and Johnson City.
● Approved the purchasing committee's recommendation to bid out labor costs on sidewalk repair. J.J. Cox said the project will fall "well under $10,000." With the approval of the board, Cox will get labor quotes to bring back to the purchasing committee.