City to meet on Washington Pike improvements

Jay FitzEast Knox, Our Town Neighbors

The city of Knoxville is hosting a public meeting to present updated designs and obtain additional input from residents about the proposed Washington Pike improvements on Wednesday, June 15, at 6 p.m. at the New Harvest Park Community Room, 4775 New Harvest Lane. This is an update from the meeting held in September 2021.

The project, estimated at $17 million, is planned to improve traffic flow and safety along the Washington Pike corridor inside the northeastern city limits, between I-640 and Murphy Road. The proposed design includes bicycle and pedestrian paths. Project documents are available on the City’s website.

According to the city, neighbors directly affected by these proposed upgrades have met with project planners on several occasions. The designs being presented in this meeting reflect the input of these neighbors and are open to wider community feedback.

Washington Pike would remain five lanes on the western end of the project area, where Greenway Drive ties in near the Target store. The pike would narrow to three lanes by New Harvest Lane, then expand back to five lanes, including a turn lane, at Steeple Shadow Way and Babelay Road and continue in that configuration to the city limits at Murphy Road. There, turn lanes would carry traffic onto Murphy or Pullman roads, and Washington Pike to the east would continue in its current two lanes.

Along the project corridor, two 10-foot multi-use pedestrian and bicycle paths would be built, connecting to existing parks and greenways. The most accident-prone intersection, at what’s now Washington Pike and Lifespring Lane, would be reconstructed to improve safety.

Once the plan is finalized and right-of-way acquired, work would begin in early 2024. The city’s goal is to have the project completed by the end of 2026 or mid-2027.

Information provided by the city of Knoxville.

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