Residents react to Pellissippi Parkway extension announcement

Residents react to Pellissippi Parkway extension announcement

Posted:
The extension will connect the existing Pellissippi Parkway where it ends on Broadway to Highway 321. The extension will connect the existing Pellissippi Parkway where it ends on Broadway to Highway 321.
"It will be fine," said Shawn Gehrisch. "I'm not mad at all. I'm ready to get out of here anyways." "It will be fine," said Shawn Gehrisch. "I'm not mad at all. I'm ready to get out of here anyways."
"We feel this is a colossal waste of tax payers dollars," said Citizens Against the Pellissippi Parkway Extension Project (CAPPE) board member Nina Gregg. "We feel this is a colossal waste of tax payers dollars," said Citizens Against the Pellissippi Parkway Extension Project (CAPPE) board member Nina Gregg.
"I feel just fine about it," said resident Patricia Rogers. "I wish I could get of out of the park." "I feel just fine about it," said resident Patricia Rogers. "I wish I could get of out of the park."

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - Not everyone is happy about the route TDOT officials have chosen for the Pellissippi Parkway Extension Project.

On Monday, TDOT officials announced it chose the west alignment shift after completing a study of an archaeological site near the project.

The extension will connect the existing Pellissippi Parkway where it ends on Broadway to Highway 321.

The move means several families in the project's path will be displaced. The Kensington Place mobile home park is in the direct path of the Pellissippi Parkway Extension Project.

Shawn Gehrisch, a mobile home park resident for four years, says his home will have to be relocated.

"It will be fine," said Gehrisch. "I'm not mad at all. I'm ready to get out of here anyways."

Gehrisch's mobile home is one of eleven that will have to be relocated due to the project.

He says most people would not mind leaving.

"I feel just fine about it," said resident Patricia Rogers. "I wish I could get of out of the park."

TDOT says they will be providing relocation assistance for families forced to move.

Even though there are some people who are in support of the project, there is a group of 200 who are against it.

"We feel this is a colossal waste of tax payers dollars," said Citizens Against the Pellissippi Parkway Extension Project (CAPPE) board member Nina Gregg.

Gregg says the $100 million that will be used for the project could be used in other places in the county.

"Another road in our county that needs attention, and you will get universal agreement on this, is Alcoa Highway," said Gregg, "Which is a death trap."

Gregg also says the project will not help with the flow of traffic through the county.

TDOT officials say they feel the project needs to be completed.

"TDOT has worked with local officials," said TDOT spokesperson Mark Nagi. "We've met with the folks with Citizens Against the Pellissippi Extension Project, as well. We feel that extending the Pellissippi Parkway is something that's not only good for folks in Alcoa and Maryville, and Blount County area, but this is a regional roadway going to and from the Smoky Mountains, going to and from East Tennessee."

TDOT officials say the project is still at its very early stages, and it will be years before construction would even start.

Members of CAPPE say they plan to continue to fight, and are planning fundraisers in the future to raise money for legal counsel to stop the project.
  

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