Meeting at Life House Coffee on May 17 are: (seated) Knox County Commissioners Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas and Dwight Van de Vate, senior director of Engineering and Public Works; (standing) are Chris Caldwell, senior director of finance, and Commission chair Dave Wright.

Wednesday was Ed & Bob Night in Powell as at-large commissioners Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas visited Life House Coffee on Brickyard Road. It was their third such meeting in Powell.

Mayor Tim Burchett’s budget includes money for intersection improvements at Brickyard Road and Beaver Creek Drive, said Dwight Van de Vate, senior director of Engineering and Public Works.

This intersection rated high on accidents, leading to funding for a design study in the upcoming fiscal year. The project is estimated to cost $550,000 and could include a roundabout, Van de Vate said.

Brantley said roundabouts on Bob Gray Road and Northshore Drive in West Knox County have been well-received after initial concern. Van de Vate said crashes at traditional intersections are more serious. “The geometrics (of a roundabout) take away the risk (of T-bone crashes).”

Knox County should start improvements to Depot Drive in the fall, Van de Vate said. Plans include paving, curbing and realignment with one-way traffic and on-street parking. Commerce Street will be closed at the railroad crossing when the Depot Drive work is completed.

Powell’s third project is a sidewalk on Ewing Road to the elementary school.

Brantley asked about improved pedestrian access from Beaver Creek Drive along Brickyard Road to Emory. Van de Vate said he has discussed such improvements with Dr. Clarence Sexton, pastor of Temple Baptist Church and president of The Crown College. “Dr. Sexton would like to open access to Powell High students to his vocational programs at the college and he would like for his students to have access to Emory Road businesses and recreation.” The sticking point, Van de Vate said, is a pedestrian crossing over Beaver Creek.

Written by Sandra Clark
editor/CEO Powell 865-661-8777