Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Local leaders want to build town bypass

Jonesborough officials are considering building the “North Jonesborough Historic Parkway,” an alternative route to 11-E that would ease traffic in the Town’s busiest intersections.
So much of the Town’s traffic is “pass-through,” like commuters from Greeneville to Johnson City, and those drivers must navigate the busiest intersection, where 11-E meets Boones Creek Road, said Town Administrator Bob Browning.
Often, with traffic volume on Boones Creek Road skyrocketing, the left hand turn lane from 11-E to that road can back up and impede traffic passing straight through the intersection, he said.
“We wanted to create an alternative route on the north and south sides of Jonesborough,” Browning said. ‘”Any reduction of traffic at our busiest intersection is an improvement.”
Right now, the Town is concentrating on developing the north side parkway, which would begin at 11-E and Ben Gamble Road, proceed through the Meadows development, and come out farther down on Boones Creek Road.
Town officials also said the alternative route would be an optimal connection for trucks, who would no longer have to use Hwy. 81 through town and Washington Drive to connect to 11-E.
“The longer we wait, the more money it will cost and the more winding it will be,” said Town engineer Todd Wood at a traffic committee meeting Feb. 25. “That’s not to say, if a house is [in the path], the house will be gone. We tried to avoid as many houses as possible [in the proposed routes].”
While officials are fairly certain the route would begin at Ben Gamble and 11-E, there are several proposed routes that wind through the property behind and next to the Meadows.
“We need to do this before the alternative triples in cost,” Browning said. “We’re trying to work in advance of the state.”
What Town officials are hoping is that a route for the parkway can be developed and approved before the Tennessee Department of Transportation comes to do their signalization project at the Persimmon Ridge intersection.
Part of that state project includes aligning Ben Gamble and New Hope to make the intersection safer.
If the Town moved fast enough, by the time the state came to make its improvements to Ben Gamble, the Town could show its parkway plans and therefore “cost-share” with the state of aligning Ben Gamble and the start of the parkway, officials said.
In other news, the South Cherokee speed table installation is all caught up, officials said.
The Traffic Committee also voted to do a speed study on West Main Street from Washington Drive up to Oak Grove at the request of town residents.
The committee also voted to install two speed tables on Main Street above the Blair-Moore house and by Second Avenue to help reduce traffic speed and to begin a study about putting in a third speed table near the Fox Street intersection.
As for the Five Points traffic circle project, Browning attended a meeting on Monday in Nashville to check if TDOT has put out a schedule detailing the property’s purchase. He said he would forward any information onto owner Kelly Street and the traffic committee as soon as he heard.
Despite some funding concerns due to the recession, TDOT has assured the Town that the Five Points project is “high-prioroty,” and Browning cited an accident with injuries that occurred at the intersection just last week.