Hardin Valley parents furious when road closed with no detour

Hardin Valley parents furious when road closed with no detour

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Hardin Valley Road was closed to allow workers to reset the downed power pole. Hardin Valley Road was closed to allow workers to reset the downed power pole.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Residents of the Brighton Farms neighborhood in northwest Knox County were without power about 18 hours from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning when a nearby power pole went down.

Power went out at about 6 p.m. and wasn't restored until noon the next day.

Hardin Valley Road was closed so crews could repair the downed pole. That resulted in a traffic jam when parents and buses tried to get to Hardin Valley Academy, Hardin Valley Elementary, and Pellissippi State Community College.

The schools were unaffected by the power outage, but the road was closed in both directions for most of the morning.

Before daylight vehicles were lined up from Pellissippi Parkway to just before Hardin Valley Academy at the site of the downed pole.  

Many parents taking their kids to school complained that detour signs were not put out to tell them the road was closed.

"We've been backed up since Pellissippi at Hardin Valley just thinking it was progressively going through, and didn't realize until we got here and they were turning people around," parent Susan Cashion.

Students were also not allowed to walk on sidewalks to get to school because of potential dangers in the work zone.

Lenoir City Utility Board crews thought they would be able to fix the power outage quickly, but the work was more complex than expected because the pole was connect to a double circuit.

"I wasn't aware of it at all," said Dani Joyner. "I didn't realize it was closed for that long. I'm now going to have to make arrangements and get to the other side somehow."

"One of the biggest frustrations is we were told last night about 6:30 when it happened that we would have power in two hours, and here we are the next morning nine o'clock and we still have no power," said homeowner Chris Ellison.

Many people said they wished information about the road closure would have been communicated better.

"I will have to get GPS out and try to figure out a way over there," said Joyner.

LCUB has a contract with the Lenoir City Police Department to direct traffic when they have utility work to do.

Officials said there was no way to detour traffic because there are so many roads that come into this area. They also said the work happened so late at night it was hard to plan for how long the project would take to complete.

One of the few options for most drivers was to go back to Pellissippi Parkway, then all the way around to Campbell Station Road, to get to the school.

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