Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

December 4, 2012

Infrastructure improvements primary focus of downtown improvement

CROSSVILLE — Crossville residents have been hearing about the Downtown Infrastructure Project for several years. While the project will provide a more beautiful downtown area, fully 82 percent of the project cost will go toward necessary infrastructure improvements. The balance of the project, which involves beautification, is an effort to take advantage of the state funding that will result from the downtown having to be torn up and put back together.

One of the key projects will be water infrastructure. The 90-year-old system produces a flow rate of only half the 1,500 gallons per minute recommended for fire protection in a commercial district. This impacts not only the retention of current businesses downtown but also attracting new business, the owners of which may balk at locating in a city unable to provide adequate fire protection. The new system, should it become a reality, would have increased water main size, new service laterals, more fire hydrants and a water system built to modern standards of material and design.

Carla French, owner of The Screen Door on Main Street, points out her own water service has low pressure and the water sometimes is rusty.

The other water problem is the lack of management for storm water, which tends to flood the streets and basements in the Main Street area. There is virtually no existing storm drainage system downtown. The proposed project would result in new catch basins, underground downspout connections for buildings, concrete curbs and gutters and, of course, the storm lines to handle all this water. Anyone who has tried crossing a downtown street during a storm without getting soaked up to their ankles, will appreciate the improvements.

Property owners also report it is difficult, if not impossible, to rent or sell some commercial properties due to the drainage problem.

Larry Doster, whose Crossville Trophy Shop is one of the longest existing businesses downtown, having been there for 30 years, said, “Since I have been downtown, there are two or three mom-and-pop clothing stores that have gone out of business.  I remember a long-gone pasty shop that was across the street.  Gas, water and electrical services have been there for a hundred years.  estaurants and other businesses need up-to-date water.”

Another downtown problem that has been the bane of pedestrians is the uneven pavement and sidewalks. In addition to not being up to TDOT standards, the pavement of differing thickness, poor grading and inadequate drainage makes it less enjoyable to walk around the neighborhood. The project will have full depth pavement removal and replacement, new roadway striping and signage to TDOT standards.

Pedestrians and motorists will also benefit from upgraded street lighting which is currently designed only for highway illumination. New lighting would provide uniform lighting for streets and walkways as well as a greater level of lighting using metal halide or LED sources. The new poles would also be placed at proper intervals based on industry standards and with underground electrical service.

The project would also provide new traffic signals placed on poles with mast arms using money-saving LED signals. Lights would be programmed so that traffic moves more efficiently and the signals would be connected, from intersection to intersection, by underground wiring. Loop detectors would tell the signals when to change and pedestrians would get crossing signals with push button activation.

Pedestrians would also get new sidewalks. Where the current sidewalks are cracked patched and worn and do not meet the ADA barrier free standards, new ones would solve these problems.  Crosswalks would be added at some intersections where they are now missing and pedestrian ramps would improve ADA accessibility.

New underground utilities would not only provide a more pleasing appearance, but proponents say those overhead wires create a hazard for firefighters who have to navigate the lines with ladders and buckets in the event of the fire.  Some of the lines are on wooden poles which, because their placement dates back to times when the streets were narrow and the city so not built up, are actually in the roadway and subject to being struck by vehicles with the resulting injuries and power outages from downed lines. 

Once the infrastructure phase, which represents 82 percent of the budget, is complete, the project would move into the enhancement phase.

Crossville is fortunate to have a viable downtown with government offices, restaurants, shopping, a theater, art galleries, tourist attractions and parks. Aesthetic improvements would enhance the area and most would be funded by private fund-raising efforts and a state grant.

French said, “If we do not make the necessary changes, we will be left behind. We need to meet competition from other communities who are updating their downtowns.”

Once the downtown is being reassembled after the infrastructure improvements, much of what is now missing from downtown will be provided. Trees and landscaping, now in short supply, will be added, along with the necessary irrigation systems. Sidewalks will see native decorative stone. Benches and decorative trash receptacles will appear. There are even plans for a public address/music system.

The estimated cost of this project is about $9.1 million, the bulk of which is provided for through loans, grants and matching funds. Some of the budget has already been expended in preliminary engineering costs. 

Deadlines to start several phases of the project are approaching.  Paving and underground work are to get underway in February with storm drainage to start in March. The enhancements and beautification are scheduled for August in order to receive a state grant of more than one million dollars.

Text Only
Area News
  • quackers at the library.jpg Spring jamboree

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspect charged in Sportsman Club break-in

    A Crossville man has been arrested and charged in connection with the burglary of a shooting club's building in the county that occurred last week, according to arrest reports.

    April 17, 2014

  • Panel discusses auditing hotel/motel tax collections

    Commissioners on the budget committee discussed the possibility of auditing hotels and motels in the county regarding the collection of hotel/motel tax collection figures being down.

    April 17, 2014

  • Repent burglar must serve time

    Some defendants cry, because they get caught, and others are tearful with remorse. No one in the courtroom doubted Robert Killeen's sincerity when he apologized to his victim, his loved ones and supporters for committing crimes against an elderly widow, stealing the money her late husband left her.

    April 17, 2014

  • Panel OKs budget amendments

    The Cumberland County Budget Committee approved a $134,506 budget amendment for the Cumberland County Solid Waste Department in order to accept a grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for enhanced waste oil collection.

    April 16, 2014

  • Council votes to seek RFQs for wastewater operation

    The city of Crossville has had a 20-year relationship with Veolia Water, the contractor that currently operates the wastewater treatment plant for the city, and while council members say they don't have a problem with the company's service, they have voted to send out requests for qualifications (RFQ) to determine if they have the best company operating the facility.

    April 16, 2014

  • Police: Couple sets up house in Tansi pool

    A Lake Tansi couple who suddenly found themselves without shelter set up a temporary home in an indoor pool area at the resort/retirement community, according to police arrest reports.

    April 16, 2014

  • certifying machines.jpg Certifying early voting machines

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mobile Vet Center in town Wednesday

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will have a Mobile Vet Center (MVC) in Crossville at the Cumberland County Community Complex 1398 Livingston Rd. on Wednesday, April 16. MVC 844 will be at the Community Complex from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    April 15, 2014

  • The Palm Tree Revisited

    Palm Sunday is right around the corner. Since we don't have palm trees in our neck of the woods, there probably aren't many people who think about their unique characteristics. Several years ago I read a devotional by Dr. Cecil A. Fayard Jr., “The Palm Tree Revisited,” and want to share some highlights.

    April 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice