Commissioners advance Parkside Drive improvement project

Parkside Drive improvement project gets first green light from commissioners

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Parkside Drive sees 16,000 vehicles every day and is considered an important link to Cedar Bluff Road and Turkey Creek. Parkside Drive sees 16,000 vehicles every day and is considered an important link to Cedar Bluff Road and Turkey Creek.
"We want to do what's right for the county, but we want to make sure our business isn't adversely affected compared to other businesses on the road," said Rob Cantrell, president of StoneMill Log Homes. "We want to do what's right for the county, but we want to make sure our business isn't adversely affected compared to other businesses on the road," said Rob Cantrell, president of StoneMill Log Homes.
"We wanted to work out with property owners to give them fair value for their property," said Commissioner Mike Hammond. "We wanted to work out with property owners to give them fair value for their property," said Commissioner Mike Hammond.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County Commissioners took their first steps on Tuesday to widen a busy stretch of road in West Knoxville.

Commissioners approved the first reading of a resolution of a right-of-way and easement acquisitions for the Parkside Drive Improvement Project. 

County engineers said the road has the highest volume of any two-lane road in the county.

Commissioners will vote on the second reading or final approval during its regular work session next Monday.  

Parkside Drive sees 16,000 vehicles every day and is considered an important link to Cedar Bluff Road and Turkey Creek.  

For quite some time the road has been considered a bottleneck.

"As you go down Parkside Drive it's four-lane, and it goes down to two-lane, then it comes back to four lanes again," said Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond.  

Plans are in place for the county to acquire 25 different tracts from surrounding businesses and land owners.

A much needed fix, engineers said, because Parkside has the highest crash rate of any two lane road in the county.  

"That correlates into a lot of rear-end accidents, because you have a lot of development, a lot of intersections there, so as people stop to turn left, there is a lot of oncoming traffic," said Jim Snowden, deputy director of Knox County Engineering and Public Works.  

County engineers have tried to develop the road since 1995. Commissioners said roadblocks with acquiring land from businesses hampered the project until recently.  

"There were issues with the property owners not wanting to sell their property. I don't think the county wanted to go into continuation. We wanted to work out with property owners to give them fair value for their property," Hammond said.  

"The last proposal had this road coming close to my building, within 10 feet," said Rob Cantrell, president of StoneMill Log Homes.  

Cantrell's log cabin business has been located on Parkside Drive for 34 years. He said he's been opposed to proposals in previous years, but is willing to listen this time.  

"We want to do what's right for the county, but we want to make sure our business isn't adversely affected compared to other businesses on the road," Cantrell said.

The project cost is estimated to total around $10.2 million.

If the land easements are approved on second reading by commissioners, construction could start in Spring 2013.

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