KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE)- If you live near East Emory Road in North Knox County, you know just how busy it can be.
The growth in the community has caused the Tennessee Department of Transportation to make plans to widen that stretch of road. However, it could take several years before the project is complete.
One resident is pushing for extra safety precautions in the meantime.
The Tallent family lives right at the intersection of East Emory and Brown Gap Road. There have been several crashes right in front of their home in the past week, causing damage to their property.
Nic Tallent said, “last night the accident, they actually took down our mailbox, the night before that they hit the tree in our front yard.”
His family has lived in Halls for 12 years.
“Traffic-wise, there wasn’t as much when we moved here first,” he explained.
With the rapid growth of Knoxville, traffic has increased and so have crashes
on the road. That prompted Nic to put up cameras and start recording the wrecks.
“In the last couple of years there have only been three wrecks in front of our house, but this year there’s been six, and just five of them were in the last two weeks,” he said.
TDOT is currently preparing preliminary engineering plans to widen the intersection of Emory and Brown Gap, but it could take several years before the project is complete.
Nic stated, “they’re already planning on widening this side of Emory Road with the other side of Emory Road to match the four lanes, but we talked to them about four years ago and their timeline was about five to seven years, and this last time- we just talked to them in the last few weeks, their timeline is still about five to nine years. So, it’s not looking like it’s going to be something to improve this intersection immediately.”
T-DOT was out Friday putting cones and a reflector at the intersection, but Tallent said he would like a more permanent solution like a stop sign or traffic light.
“They’re hitting that telephone pole and stuff will get knocked into our yard. Back on the 11th, there was a sheriff’s officer that was hit.”
He’s also just asking people to go the speed limit and pay attention to the road,
“The speed limit is 45 but people do 60, 65 up and down the road all day long.”
The next step for TDOT is to have a public design meeting to share preliminary plans with the public once the project has been identified for right-of-way funding. That has not yet been scheduled.
Just in the past couple of days, Nic put up two more cameras to document the increase in traffic and wrecks.