Raising children, losing weight and Concord Road construction – what do these have in common? All require patience and determination, and all have a theoretical payout at the end.
The rewards for raising kids and weight loss are clear. For those who don’t use the Concord Road/Northshore Drive corridor during peak driving hours, the carrot for enduring 22 months of construction won’t be so obvious.
If you’re not familiar with the project, Concord Road is being widened from two lanes to five from the Northshore roundabout to Turkey Creek Road, where Concord is already five lanes. This will relieve the bottleneck that occurs each weekday morning and afternoon as residents commute to and from I-40 and Farragut schools.
Because Concord Road is a state route, this is a Tennessee Department of Transportation project rather than a town of Farragut effort. The current project is actually the third of a three-phase project that began in 2004.
The need for a better route from Northshore Drive to the interstate was recognized as far back as 1990, says town of Farragut engineer Darryl Smith. For residents who lived off Northshore from Concord Road to Choto Road and beyond, there was no clear path to I-40 at the time.
In 2006, Campbell Station Road ended at Municipal Center Drive, where Town Hall and the Farragut Post Office are located. The first phase of the corridor improvement was to extend Campbell Station Road to Concord Road and widen Concord Road from Campbell Station to Turkey Creek Road.
The second phase began in 2010, when Campbell Station Road was just three lanes, with the exception of an additional lane from the primary school to the entrance of Village Green subdivision. Campbell Station was widened to five lanes from Kingston Pike to I-40.
The third phase kicked off the first week of January. Crews are clearing to prepare for grading. During the current phase of the project, lane closures will be limited to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., says Mark Nagi of TDOT. The project is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 31, 2020.
While TDOT managed the design of the road, the town requested that the improved road include a median wherever possible and decorative lighting, says Smith. (The town will pay 20 percent of the difference between the decorative lighting and standard lighting.) The town and Knox County made a joint request for a greenway on the west side of Concord Road that will provide a pedestrian connection to the Concord Greenway along Northshore Drive.
When the third phase is complete, it will significantly reduce congestion along the corridor from Northshore Drive to the interstate, Smith says. It’s also the final step in a project that was imagined two decades ago.
“This completes the full build-out.”
Wendy Smith coordinates marketing and public relations for the town of Farragut.