Project to Ease Traffic On Alcoa Highway

Knoxville (WVLT)- More than 50,000 vehicles travel along Alcoa Highway each day making it the most traveled, non-interstate road in Tennessee.

For the past few years, developers have been working on a massive construction project to help alleviate traffic and make your drive much safer.

Alcoa Highway has earned a reputation as one of the state's most traveled roadways... and one of the most dangerous.

"I've come up behind people at the last minute who find a turnaround and decide they want to turn, and then everybody behind you is slamming on your brakes," Bill Kudlets says.

In fact, it's so deadly, it's landed a nickname...

"...I'll-kill-ya-highway", actually. It's mainly for as many deaths as we have on this road a year, because of how congested it is on some parts," says Billy Mize.

Not only is making a left turn unsafe, it's nearly impossible. We're going to see how long it takes us to make one... I should have went there.

One-minute and 54-seconds... some say that's nothing.

"Took me like 10 minutes a while ago to make a left-hand turn right over there," Charles Quillen says.

So does the road need a quick fix or a complete makeover?

"If they were going to do anything, I think they should make their turn lanes a little bit bigger," says Kudlets.

"I dunno if you could put red lights up on this highway or not.. it might help," says Quillen.

How about this...

"Take the existing Alcoa Highway and down that to more of a surface street like Kingston Pike over in Knoxville, and build a new piece of roadway that goes around Alcoa Highway, but parallels Alcoa Highway," says Alcoa Assistant City Manager Bill Hammon.

The City of Alcoa and T-DOT are in the development phase. The proposed by-pass will look like an Interstate, with overpasses and frontage roads.

"As additional businesses continue to develop between here and Knoxville, that increases the pressure of the additional traffic on the highway itself," says Hammon.

It's a project in the making, but it's the first step to bridging the gap between growth and grief.


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