West Broadway Traffic (Oct. 2021)

Northbound rush-hour traffic approaches the U.S. Highway 129 Bypass on West Broadway Avenue.

Roads are keeping Maryville and coordinating Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) engineers and crews busy right now and for the next two to five years.

During a recent presentation to city officials, city of Maryville Director of Public Works and Engineering Brian Boone discussed numerous projects his department is managing, to improve and upkeep Maryville’s evolving road network.

Not all of these are roads.

For example, the city recently completed its Advance Traffic Management System, a networking system shared with the city of Alcoa that led to the creation of a traffic operations center in Maryville’s Municipal Building.

It’s one of three projects the Engineering Department recently completed and presented as evidence of a strong, ongoing effort to adapt roads to commercial and residential growth.

“Facts and figures help people know what’s going on,” Boone told city leaders in a September work session. “That’s the good part about engineering, right? We deal in facts and figures and dates and locations.”

He said this as he handed out a bullet-pointed, four-page, double-sided document enumerating every project scope, cost and estimated timeline in the next few years.

It showed six large ongoing projects and nine upcoming projects in the city limits.

Boone has been working with staff to provide updates on an annual basis since many officials receive questions from citizens when roadwork starts or lasts a long time.

It’s not just Maryville crews working in the city, Boone explained. TDOT also is overseeing numerous projects inside the city as it has for decades.

Ongoing projects include TDOT’s work on the intersection of U.S. Highway 411 and Foothills Mall Drive/Montgomery Lane as well as ramps off and on U.S. Highway 129.

Crews are rearranging utilities in the area right now. Signal changes are planned. Lane-widening will happen at the on- and off-ramps.

All that’s set to wrap before June 30, 2022.

TDOT also is involved with the Phase 1 Foothills Mall Drive extension, which goes past Target to Foch Street. That project just started, but shouldn’t impact traffic on U.S. Highway 129 until its later phases. It’s set to finish about Thanksgiving 2022.

Smaller projects are keeping pace with bigger ones as well. A fall 2021 citywide resurfacing effort is getting underway. It will see roads like Tuckaleechee Pike, Grandview Drive, Lambert Lane and others repaved by Thanksgiving, weather allowing.

Extremely big, multimillion-dollar projects are on the horizon too.

They include widening of U.S. Highway 129 in Maryville and Alcoa from U.S. Highway 321 and State Route 35 (Hall Road) — a massive TDOT project that may start come spring 2023.

In that same corridor, a second phase of Foothills Mall Drive extension will bring the road from Foch Street all the way to McCammon Avenue, giving traffic more than one option.

That project is far off enough that it doesn’t currently have a wrap date.

TDOT also will widen and reconstruct S.R. 35 (Sevierville Road) from Washington Street to Walnut Street, beginning in 2024.

These and numerous other projects involve a lot of coordination between city engineers, officials and state-level staff.

But some city leaders feel comfortable with their ability to manage, create and finance timelines for these projects according to local needs.

“We’re very much in control of our own destiny,” Public Services Director Angie Luckie told council members during the work session. “There is enough funding generally to get projects that most communities need on the board. We have to be proactive in getting them started.”

She added, that Boone and City Engineer Kevin Stoltenberg have been “really good” at moving projects forward quickly.

Boone emphasized the importance of creating and disseminating information for leaders who have to manage the public input and inquiry portion of these large projects.

Follow @arjonesreports on Facebook and Twitter for more from city government reporter Andrew Jones.

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