KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Tennessee Dept. of Transportation announced how it would like to extend Pellissippi Parkway through Blount Co. on Friday. The planned route, known as Alternative A, would ease traffic congestion and complete the vision of the original planners, TDOT said.
“Alternative A will provide a safer route for travelers in northeastern Blount County,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer.
The plan would extend Pellissippi Parkway as a four-lane divided highway for more than four miles, connecting it to Lamar Alexandar Parkway, US-321. The route would displace five homes, a business and about 10 farms.
It is projected to cost about $97 million dollars.
The decision was not without controversy, though. Some area residents felt the state should preserve the natural beauty of the land, while many business owners backed Alternative A.
“The selection of Alternative A is the result of productive collaboration and strong partnerships between TDOT, the community, and government agencies,” said Schroer.
TDOT said it weighed input from local citizens, local and public officials, as well as local, state, and federal agencies as well as its analysis of the environmental impacts of the highway when making its decision. Now, it says it will perform additional environmental technical studies for the preferred routes. The final study is expected to be completed in the Spring 2013