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Money, water issues stall traffic, Walgreens projects

While one project in Jonesborough appears to be right on schedule, two others have seen their progress hindered – one by nature, the other by the nature of state governmental process.
With the installation of a new traffic light, a playground and a walkway, the intersection at Persimmon Ridge Road will be getting a new look, probably by the end of summer, according to Jonesborough Town Administrator Bob Browning.
However, the opening of Walgreens at the intersection of Boones Creek Road and Highway 11-E has been delayed, and a traffic circle for Five Points remains only in the planning stages.
“The (Persimmon Ridge) traffic light project is set to be completed by the end July, but could be extended somewhat due to weather,” Browning said. “The signal will be put in, and we will be making site adjustments to that area to try and square it up better.”
Browning said the adjustments would allow for a better turning radius for traffic in the intersection. A pre-construction meeting is set to take place in two weeks.
Nearby, construction on a walkway to connect Persimmon Ridge with subdivisions on the other side of 11-E will likely happen in late summer.
“We’ll be able to do almost all of that with our own staff,” Browning said. “The only part of the work that may have to be contracted out on the walkway is where it goes under the highway.”
The walkway will allow for pedestrian and bicycle access to Persimmon Ridge and the downtown area of Jonesborough. Along the way, a small playground will be installed above and between Goldenrod Road and Mill Creek Subdivision.
Meanwhile, the long-anticipated opening of Jonesborough’s new Walgreens is slightly behind schedule, Browning said, with a tentative opening date now set for August.
According to Browning, construction on the store has been delayed due to some “subsurface soil problems….underground water.”
Finally, the status of a controversial state highway construction project — the construction of a traffic roundabout at Five Points in Jonesborough — remains in limbo.
Construction of the traffic circle would result in the demolition of Five Points Grocery, a longtime Jonesborough business.
Owner Kelly Street has repeatedly opposed the plan.
“In working with the State on this and based on traffic flow and the timing of traffic, we felt a circle would be the best option,” Browning said.
No start date or firm plans for construction of the circle have been developed.
“They have gone through reviews and I think they’re set on the roundabout, but until funding is actually assigned to it, it is still a project in the planning stages,” Browning said.
“We expected they would hold a public meeting on that and go over details of the project earlier this year, but there is no date for that yet.
“With what they’re doing now and still having to assign money, this will most likely be a 2012 project.”