One East Tennessee community is taking steps forward on a project they hope will produce more businesses in the area.
(WBIR - Crossville) One East Tennessee community is taking steps forward on a project they hope will produce more businesses in the area.
"The Northwest Connector" or state route 462, is under construction. This week, the Crossville City Council voted to extend the project to secure more property. The road will run from Genesis Road to U-S- 70. But it is still in the early stages.
The Northwest Connector project has become a part of Crossville's history and Mayor J.H. Graham is making this project a reality. Designs for sections of this project date back to the 1980's. Graham says this strip of roadway will help prepare the town for the future.
"It will take pressure off the roads inside town. It will take 6500 cars from Elmore Road and put them on another road," said Graham.
Graham's plan involves three sections. Section one is already in the making and costs 5.3 million dollars. T-DOT is aiding in the funding using Surface Transportation Funds. This leaves the city paying for about one and a half million for this section. Section two fixes a couple dangerous turns through town by widening the street from two lanes to five.And Section three will add something that Graham likes to call, Restaurant Row.
Bob Mitchell owns Mitchell's Drug Store in town. This shop has been a staple in Crossville history since 1926. He says this project may take away from the downtown, but will be worth it in the end for the future of Crossville.
"It will improve the traffic flow. It will get the main trucks. The trucks with the pine completely off the Main Street," said Mitchell.
Preparing for the future is Graham's goal with the Northwest Connector. And he sees the already high retiree populated community growing more because of this. A growth he welcomes.
"We are building our community to handle about a hundred thousand people with water, sewer, fire, and police protection. What that means is in 20 or 25 years, we will have a hundred thousand people with forty thousand retirees," said Graham.
He said they are working to obtain the right-of-ways on other properties. He hopes to see the plans for sections two and three settled by mid-summer 2014.