With Peavine Rd. on track for completion in November 2020, residents of Fairfield Glade are turning their attention to life after road construction.
During the standing-room only Positively Glade information session last Thursday, residents asked about street lights, traffic lights and scenic road options for the improved highway.
“Is there a possibility this can be changed to a scenic highway? Or will it always be a state road?” asked a resident during the question and answer portion of the presentation.
Tennessee’s Scenic Highway Program provide for conservation of scenic areas by limiting new outdoor advertising and junkyards, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation website. Regulations also limit the height of new structures.
Representatives with the TDOT recommended contacting the state’s highway beautification office, as those present at the meeting work in the construction and maintenance department. The Scenic Roadways Coordinator is Michael McClanahan.
The person said, “The residents of Fairfield Glade are not exactly overwhelmed with the signage, etc. I think it hinders some of our marketing.”
After the meeting, Gary Fitch said Fairfield Glade has about 100 new homes under construction this year. But a survey of new residents found most people commenting on the billboards and signs from Interstate 40 to Fairfield Glade along Peavine Rd.
“We are the growth engine in this area,” Fitch told the Glade Sun.
Traffic signals are planned at Towne Center, Lakeview, and Stonehenge and Eagle Lane.
“None of the new signals are functioning yet,” said Todd Nash, project manager for Rogers Group. About half the new signals have been installed.
The Lakeview Dr. intersection has two of the necessary traffic signal poles installed, but the other two need to be placed in the existing Peavine Rd. section. While residents were concerned about the delays turning from Lakeview onto Peavine Rd., Nash said the traffic signal poles could not be installed until traffic was shifted to the new section of the road.
Residents questioned if a traffic signal would be installed at Fairview Dr. The intersection will be improved with an entrance, right turn and left turn exits. It will not have a traffic signal, instead continuing to use the stop sign at Fairview Dr. as in the past.
A resident asked if the new traffic signals would provide audible traffic signals. Nash said the new signals have the capability, but they will need to make a request to Cumberland County Highway Department, which will own the signals.
TDOT officials said they would be contacting the county regarding that request.
Street lights that once lined Peavine Rd. from St. George Dr. to Catoosa Dr. were taken up during the construction process, but they were saved. Sam McAdoo, Fairfield Glade Community Club director of community maintenance, said he had been working with Volunteer Energy Cooperative, which was unable to send a representative to the meeting Thursday, and Tennessee Valley Authority regarding a traffic light study, which will determine the best location for those lights.
McAdoo said, “The plan is to reinstall the lights that were there, not add any new street lights.”
There were 25 lights before, McAdoo said. The study would determine the best location for each light based on illumination.
Those existing lights are not dark sky compliant. McAdoo said an evaluation of LED lighting, which is dark sky compliant, was being considered.
“But right now, TVA has to complete their evaluation on where the street lights will go,” he said.
Nash said discussion has also involved installing a light near Springlake Dr. and St. George Dr., which residents said was dark and difficult to see.
Storm Drains and Utilities
Residents also questioned where the storm drains were taking water runoff from the road. Nash said the storm drains acted like the ditches along the old highway and kept the same water outlets as before.
“We haven’t created additional outfalls for water,” Nash said. “It’s just collected from the surface in a different way.”
Middle Tennessee Natural Gas is installing a 6-inch gas line, an improvement over the existing 4-inch line to improve the service available to the community. The utility adds so many lines of low-pressure lines along side roads each year. MTNG representatives recommended individuals interested in gas service contact the utility.
Nash said electric lines had been installed and telephone and cable providers were installing their new lines on the new utility poles.
The 5.6-mile project from Firetower Rd. To Catoosa Blvd. improves the 2-lane portion of the road to five lanes. Most of the project includes 10-foot paved shoulders and curbing, gutters and sidewalks.
“At one of the very first meetings, I said if we do nothing to this road but add shoulders, we’ll accomplish a lot,” Nash said.
The $49 million-project began in February 2017.
Nash said paving should begin on the section from Firetower Rd. to about one mile north in approximately two to three weeks.
On the second mile, grading stone has been put in place and contractors await paving. Once the new road section is paved and striped, traffic will shift, allowing contractors to tear out the old road and build it up to match the new road section.
When the road enters Fairfield Glade around the area of Weigels, the 10-foot paved shoulders go away, decreasing the amount of space needed for the road. There will be sidewalks, curbs and gutters in this section.
The current 4-lane section from Stonehenge Dr. will stay the same with new pavement. The concrete islands will not be changed. After that, the road will return to a 5-lane road with center turn-lane to Catoosa Blvd.
Rogers Group is building new road sections and then moving traffic over to the new section while working on the old road section.
Residents questioned the traffic disruption while paving intersections with side streets. Intersections will be built up to match the new road level and there will be an entrance lane, left turn lane and right turn lane.
But there isn’t room on those smaller side streets to shift out of the work area, Nash said.
“We have to build them under traffic. A lot of times we’ll build half, move the traffic over and build the other half,” he said.
When possible, Nash said he was open to paving at night, but some areas are difficult to pave in the dark.