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State looking into fixes for intersection at Boones Creek Road, Highway 11E

State organizations are now involved in the effort to improve traffic flow at the intersection of Boones Creek Road and Highway 11E.
“We are having some serious problems there and it’s going to get worse,” Bob Browning, town administrator, reported at a meeting of the Traffic Advisory Committee on Oct. 25. “We are seeing a bigger increase in traffic flow on (Boones Creek Road) than anywhere else.”
With that increase in motorists has also come some major snarling of traffic, according to town officials.
According to Police Chief Matt Hawkins, more than 44 traffic crashes have been reported at that intersection. While most have been minor, the intersection is becoming increasingly more dangerous, leaders said.
What is most needed to fix the problem is a double turn lane for drivers on Boones Creek Road turning eastbound onto Highway 11E.
Already existing businesses and a significant drainage ditch, however, are hindering efforts to create the second turn lane.
“(The Tennessee Department of Transportation) determined it was going to be a very difficult project to undertake and they would need to be a participant in it,” Browning said. “They are looking at what it would take. They came out and did an assessment. They are looking at alternatives.”
Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe questioned whether it would be easier and more feasible to create a public street that runs off Highway 11E between Hardees and Suntrust Bank.
“It seems were hemmed in by that giant ditch and McDonald’s,” Wolfe said of the desire to create a second turn lane.
Committee member Dave Eldridge suggested eliminating the bridge closest to the intersection on Boones Creek Road. It is one of two that serve as entrances into the adjacent strip center.
“That particular bridge creates some congestion,” Eldridge said. “If that bridge was eliminated, that would improve some of the flow from there.”
Browning said the intersection is on the Tennessee Metropolitan Planning Organization’s list of projects to take a look at.
“It’s not going to happen overnight,” he warned.