Reader sees lack of of Alcoa Highway plans
For years there has been discussion on how to make Alcoa Highway safer. There is little control of development along Alcoa Highway from the airport to Singleton Station Road and there are too many accesses and crossovers. Who has control over development? City of Alcoa? TDOT? Someone else?
A frontage road next to Alcoa Highway from Starbucks to Krystal has gradually been developed enabling access to many businesses without having to use Alcoa Highway. When the El Sazon restaurant moved into the Bel Air Grill building, the lot was modified to extend the frontage road.
When Ruby Tuesday built a restaurant, surprisingly no frontage road was included. The Clayton Bank building under construction appears to be closer to Alcoa Highway than Ruby Tuesday, leaving no room for expansion of Alcoa Highway or a frontage road. There was ample room farther back to build and still be visible. Ruby Tuesday and Clayton are excellent corporate citizens and we appreciate their support of our community. Road planning is not their responsibility.
Ruby Tuesday, Courtyard by Marriott and Clayton Bank are only accessible from Alcoa Highway. With better planning these businesses could be accessed from Cusick Road, or Payne Avenue could be extended to Hunt Road. Are those managing development along Alcoa Highway looking to the future? Are they considering the immediate needs?
Alcoa Highway has not been widened in over 40 years. Whether to have a frontage road or to widen the highway, new business should be planned around either option.
There is no approved plan to build an Alcoa Highway bypass and there will hopefully never be one. The city of Alcoa and TDOT should manage development to promote safety now, not in 20 years. New development should not interfere with extending the frontage road and/or widening of the existing Alcoa Highway.
PO Box 490
Alcoa, TN 37701