Crews are starting a six-month construction project on a new roundabout that aims to improve traffic flow and safety at a problematic intersection in West Knox County.
“Going west on Hardin Valley Road, the road ends at an intersection with E. Gallaher Ferry and Hickory Creek roads. It is the intersection of three main roadways. You have to make a couple of sharp 90-degree turns. There are lots of conflict points for drivers,” said Jim Snowden, senior director of Knox County Engineering and Public Works.
Snowden said the intersection has a long history of crashes with vehicles often driving off the road.
“People are not expecting it. Going westbound or eastbound approaching this intersection, you’ve got a mile of roadway that’s flat and relatively straight. Then you have a curve where you have to slow down to 10 miles per hour,” said Snowden. “This new roundabout will have everyone come into one point, eliminate conflict points, and really operate more efficiently and safely.”
The volume of traffic in the Hardin Valley area is increasing due to rapid growth and residential development. The developer of a new subdivision near the intersection is contributing $300,000 toward the $1.2 million construction project. Snowden said drivers should be prepared for large construction equipment near the intersection through mid-November 2022, the deadline for the contractor to complete the project.
Yet, construction of the actual roundabout should not interfere with traffic or require road closures. “We are able to build the roundabout in an empty space [beside the intersection] where nobody is currently operating. So, we’ll be able to minimize the inconvenience to traffic on the existing roads.
“Then we’ll come in one weekend or over a week and tie it [the three roads] all together.” Snowden added, “This will fix something that has been a problem. It will really operate a lot more efficiently for the folks who have to drive these roads every day.”
You can see a video tour of the intersection and roundabout plans on YouTube.
Information including quotes provided by Knox County.