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More cones put up on Alcoa Highway for ongoing construction projects

A stretch of Alcoa Highway is expected to be down to one lane until mid-September while crews work on a new construction project.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It's a road that seems like it is perpetually under construction, and crews recently added more orange cones to Alcoa Highway. 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation closed one of the lanes northbound on Alcoa Highway in Blount County for a 1.5-mile stretch starting at Hall Road. They expect that portion of Alcoa Highway to be down to one lane open through mid-September. 

On their website, TDOT said the construction is part of a "larger effort" to widen Alcoa Highway. They said they plan to build a new interchange for easier access to the McGhee Tyson West Aviation area.

"It's always something they're doing for the development of the roads," said Kanti Patel, the front desk manager at Alcoa Inn. 

This is one of three active construction projects on Alcoa Highway, according to TDOT's website. The other two extend from Maloney Road. 

The project between Maloney Road and Woodson Drive began in 2016, and TDOT was expected to finish in Summer 2021. The last update on their website said crews are working on their final paving operations throughout the project. 

David Foster is an Uber and Lyft driver, who drives from Maryville every day. He drove past the construction on Thursday morning. 

Foster said he has to slow down, more than the 40 miles-per-hour speed limit on that portion of Alcoa Highway. 

"I feel like it's almost getting a little claustrophobic going through there," said Foster. 

He said he warns his passengers that the trip will take longer than usual because of all of the construction on Alcoa Highway. 

"One thing I tell them is, 'look, I'm going to go slower,'" said Foster. "I'm going to get you there as fast as I can."