Road repairs and spring cleaning

Mike DonilaOur Town Outdoors

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and members of the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department will present the Love Kitchen with a check for more than $7,400 and 16 barrels of non-perishable food items that were raised during last year’s Holiday Festival of Lights at the Cove at Concord Park.

“In a year with so much uncertainty and strife, it is so rewarding to see this kind of generosity come from one of our longest running Knox County traditions,” Jacobs said. “These donations are evidence that even in the worst of times, we can pull together to support each other.”

The 22nd annual event ran almost the entire month of December and concluded Sunday, Jan. 3.

In other Parks and Recreation news, we had a six-person crew back in Beaver Creek this week, clearing the 44-mile Knox County Water Trail. They removed what is called a “Number 5” logjam – the biggest and worst type (they can be the size of a house). They also cleaned up a “Number 3,” which is a medium-sized jam.

In addition, the department has reached out to some private property owners along the creek, asking if we can use their land for access points to bring in equipment. And so far, most people are giving us permission!

“This is great news because these access points are key to the success of the project,” said Chuck James, director of parks for the department.

Mowing season starts in about a month. Once that happens, we’ll cut the river crew in half, but that’s OK. We’d always planned to use a 3-person team, so we should be good to go. The others will join the mowing teams.

Speaking of lawn mowing season … that means tall, green grass. We’ve got some of our crews inside sharpening the blades and making sure the outdoor tools are working in preparation. We also have folks adding sand to the ballfields and starting to stripe them. Baseball tournaments kick in at the end of the month or beginning of March.

Our carpenters also are hitting the playgrounds, replacing steps and taking care of the sharp edges. They’re also pressure washing the playgrounds.

We even have a group out today, working at New Harvest Park – painting the bathrooms and the building and waxing the floors.

“There’s a little bit of renovation going on out there,” said Jason Halliburton, superintendent of maintenance.

The Knox County Engineering and Public Works Department also has been hard at work. Here’s a snapshot of some of its projects:

  • Plumb Creek Road: Cross drain replacement
  • Yarnell Road: Various areas of roadway repairs with milling and asphalt overlay
  • Circle Road: Guardrail replacement using a new TDOT design for stream crossings that have limited depth to the culverts that prevent conventional post installation. This is the first implementation of this new design by Knox County.
  • Schriver Road: New guardrail installation to protect steep drop-off in a tight curve

Here’s a carousel of photos from this week’s projects.

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.

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