Rockford wants more sound barriers on Alcoa Parkway
By Iva Butler | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Letters have been sent to state officials by Rockford Mayor Carl Koella III opposing the $110 million Alcoa Parkway unless it provides additional sound barriers.
The letters went to Gov. Bill Haslam in Nashville and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Project Manager 2 Mike Russell in Knoxville.
The proposed highway will bypass Alcoa Highway beginning at Hall Road and the U.S. 129 Bypass split, running basically east and parallel to Alcoa Highway and linking back with Alcoa Highway at Singleton Station Road.
Six travel lanes with two lanes on the outside for acceleration and deceleration would run approximately five miles for through traffic.
The plan is to go around the congested Alcoa Highway in the area of the Motor Mile and McGhee Tyson Airport. This would allow traffic lights along this stretch of Alcoa Highway without causing a major traffic backup.
Koella wrote in his letter to Haslam: “We have expressed concern over the extreme noise generated by an eight-lane super highway to various TDOT officials and the public planning meetings over the past several years. “Unfortunately, our concerns have been ignored and local citizens have contacted and urged the city of Rockford to vigorously protest this project. We have no choice but to oppose the project as it is currently construed.”
He is requesting that no state taxpayer funds be expended on right-of-way acquisition until the project is revised.
“The city has received numerous complaints regarding the noise issue due to the project’s proximity to the Singleton Station Road and Glenmore Estates Road and Glenmore Estates residents. It appears an eight-lane super highway will be constructed less than 200 feet from these residents’ front doors without any sound barriers,” Koella wrote.
“The city agrees with the residents ... that this study should be done again and that the area deserves a noise abatement system to preserve the peace and quiet of their homes, since the interior areas of these homes will be impacted as well,” according to the letter to Russell.
Also, the residents in this area think the Alcoa Parkway “should be moved toward the center of Pine Lakes Golf Course rather that the proposed far edge which is directly across the street from their houses,” he wrote.
“At a bare minimum, significant sound barriers will need to be constructed to reduce the din of eight lanes of traffic as suggested for the project in the Cusick Road and Pepper Tree Drive areas,” Koella wrote.
If the modifications can’t be done, he suggested building the proposed new road west of the current Alcoa Highway or using Cusick Road as a service road or connector rather than building Alcoa Parkway.
Rockford is opposed to the current project plan and is disappointed that there were no public hearings held after the release of the nose abatement study in July 2011, he wrote to Russell.
“We expect to be kept fully informed regarding further developments with this project,” Koella concluded.
Responses from the two state officials have not been received yet.