Chair: Gene Burr
The Alcoa Highway Group is charged with lobbying any and all of our state and local representatives and agencies which might effect a safer Alcoa Highway for our neighbors.
Lakemoor Hills Homeowner’s Association and the Alcoa Highway
A History of Efforts, A Statement of Problems and Developing Priorities: From 1984 to Present
January 2015: In the early Fall of last year, Lakemoor Hills residents were informed that the section of Alcoa Highway from Woodson to Maloney would be the first section the TDOT would be working on for a complete makeover. It was to begin in Fall of 2015 and would provide safety changes that all have been waiting for, some for longer than 30 years! On October 24, 2014, Commissioner Schroer informed the press that he was canceling 30 projects statewide and among those to be postponed was our section of Alcoa Highway. This was due to federal funding. TDOT was only assured of 6 months funding and Commissioner Schroer was unwilling to begin a project that he was unsure if he could finish.
At that time, Dick Graf, President of the Lakemoor Hills Neighborhood Association, sent letters to Commissioner Schoer, Governor Haslam and Representative Duncan. (Click each name to read the letter.) The responses from Commissioner Schroer and Congressman Duncan are posted here for all to read: Official Responses Alcoa Highway.
At the member meeting on Tuesday, January 20th, it was suggested strongly that we should all send letters to Congressman Duncan urging him to move this project forward as he is the current Vice Chair on Infrastructure and Transportation on the federal level and also our representative to Congress.
Ways to contact the Congressman are detailed here. We thank you for your support as we all know the importance of making Alcoa Highway safer for the residents of Lakemoor Hills and those who travel through the neighborhood.
September 2014: TDOT plans to begin with our section of Alcoa Highway at the end of December 2015.
On October 7, 2014 at 7:30 PM, TDOT will be coming to Lakemoor Hills to make the public presentation. Everyone please attend!
The investment money is guaranteed to begin construction and TDOT will need to start spending by 2015.
LHHA has had extensive meetings with TDOT concerning the safety of Alcoa highway over the past 3+ years. The Community Design Center – made presentations and TDOT started to listen.
Concerns brought to TDOT with the improvements to Alcoa Highway:
First Concern – Greenways access – The City is about to start construction from the Alcoa Bridge to the Marine Park. South of that is not clear on how it will get to area of the Shopping Center with the North Campus of the Sevier Heights Baptist Church. The County will then be responsible for the connection to I. C. King Park. We encouraged them to widen the flyover bridges to accommodate the greenway.
Second Concern is the flyover bridges along Alcoa Hwy. The Montlake flyover would start in the area of Lynbrulee St. Traffic would enter Alcoa going south by using the frontage/service drive going towards the commercial center and merging into the highway. There will be a total of 3 flyovers along Alcoa Highway between Maloney and Montlake.
Third concern the frontage roads for the businesses on Alcoa Highway. There will also be some roundabouts to facilitate traffic congestion.
Fourth Concern LHHA – also has concerns on traffic and speed on Montlake and Maloney. The County Traffic Engineer has agreed to install rumble strips along the centerline, to make traffic more aware of the narrow roadways.
May 2014: The latest image of the Alcoa Hwy renovation plans slated to begin in Fall of next year can be found below. Click on the image to enlarge for easier viewing. TDOTplans to begin with our section of Alcoa Highway at the end of December 2015. The money is guaranteed to begin construction. It will be a 6 lane highway from the Buck Karns Bridge going south to Alcoa.
First Concern – Greenways access – The City is about to start construction from the Alcoa Bridge to the Marine Park. South of that is not clear on how it will get to area of the Shopping Center with the North Campus of the Sevier Heights Baptist Church. The County will then be responsible for the connection to I.C. King Park. Teresa Pepin has also been working on this. We propose to encourage them to widen the flyover bridges to accommodate the greenway and pedestrian traffic.
Second concern will be the frontage roads for the businesses on Alcoa Highway. On the east side entry will be by Ginn Road and go towards Martha Washington. On the west side it will run into a dead-end at the end of the commercial development. This is a contradiction a good long range plan for the commercial development on the west side of Alcoa Hwy. This could also become a major safety issue.
Third Concern is the flyover bridge at Montlake and Alcoa Hwy. The bridge flyover would start in the area of Lynbrulee Ln. and travel would go North to merge into Woodson Dr., then to merge onto Alcoa To enter Alcoa going South you would use the frontage/service drive to the commercial center and merge into the highway there. Overall, though, it is great that the project is considered a “go” much earlier than anticipated.
January 2014: The Safety Spot project at Maloney Road is scheduled for completion by 07/31/14. Alcoa Hwy is shown in black running north to south (top to bottom); access to Lakemoor Hills is to the left on westbound Maloney Rd. The raised concrete curbing (shown in white), which is delineated in the photographic illustration of the intersection, will prohibit traffic on east or west Maloney Rd. from crossing Alcoa Highway. By restricting traffic movements, the project will discourage the hazardous pattern of use that has caused accidents in the past, and assure a much safer intersection. Download a full resolution conceptual plan and chain of emails here.
- Discussions with Nick Pavlis, Vice Mayor of the City of Knoxville about our plight.
- Discussions with Buzz Johnson, Nathan Benditz and Liz Albertson of MPC and TPO about the Plaza.
- The two Spot Safety proposals are approved in Nashville.
- Discussions with Mike Edwards of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce about the Plaza.
- Discussion with Ed Shipes representing the leasing company at the Plaza.
October 2011: LHHA secures support of Martha Washington for Spot Safety Proposals
September 2011: LHHA makes future of the commercial sites along Alcoa Highway a top priority for 2011-2012.
September 2011: TDOT commissions the restriping of the lines on Alcoa Highway. August 2011: Meeting with Chief Rausch of KPD who pledged enforcement periods. KPD has since had two enforcement periods.
July-August 2011: Development of two spot safety proposals for the intersection of Montlake and Alcoa Highway and the intersection of Maloney Road and Alcoa Highway.
July 2011: Meeting with John Schroer, State Commissioner of Transportation.
June-July 2011: Visit to most merchants in commercial sector of Alcoa between Montlake and Maloney. Strong support for traffic signal due to fear of entering Alcoa Highway during peak periods. Highway damages business.
May 2011: Meeting with Mike Brown – Our commissioner who is a member of the Knox County Board of commissioners.
May 2011: Meeting with staff of TDOT to discuss proposed alternatives for spot safety.
April 2011: Food City – major commercial tenant closes (important to LHHA residents)
January 2011: Meeting with City of Knoxville Traffic Engineer – John Hunter
March 2011: Presentation of neighborhood priorities to TDOT and City of Knoxville Engineer : lengthen acceleration lanes in both directions at Montlake and Maloney Road. Create 2 lanes feeding into Alcoa from Montlake for right and left turns. Improve signage on Alcoa and slow speeds.
2010: Meetings with TDOT – primarily Mike Russell and Nathan Vatter to discuss LHHA concerns over safe access to highway during peak periods. Says that permanent solution (4706-1263-04) is still the same as 1997.
1997 : TDOT conducted an “Open House” at Mt. Olive School to present a “new plan.” “The Compromise Plan.” Two additional lanes from Maloney Rd. to Woodson Dr. making three lanes in each direction separated by a concrete barrier. Grade separated interchanges at Maloney Rd. and at Montlake. Bridge over highway near Vulcan Materials to connect two sides of the commercial district. Project was to take 2.5 years for survey and engineering; one year for ROW acquisition two years for construction, pending approval of funding in the 1998 session of legislature.
1987: Funded study of entire 11.5 mile Alcoa Highway corridor – “Alternatives for the Improvement of Alcoa Highway” published – done by UT Transportation Center. Among conclusions: “Excessive Speed (average 58 MPH) increased accidents between 1983 and 1986: 673 with 11 fatalities. Thus between 1980 and 1986 = 1890 accidents with 32 deaths.
1986: “Make Alcoa a Safe Highway” – a quote “These recommendations recognize the futility of short-term improvements without concurrent development of a plan that creatively addresses and reconciles the need for both mobility and access.” (MASH)
1984: “A TSM Plan for the Alcoa Highway Corridor”: reported that between January 1980 and October 1983 – 1217 accidents resulting in 582 injuries and 21 deaths.
1972 : “US 129 – A Highway Corridor Study (TVA and TSPO)