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Knox County to repair 'dangerous' Byington Beaver Ridge Road

After a resident brought his concern about the road to Knox County officials, the Public Works Department moved forward with plans to fix the dangers.

KARNS, Tenn. — Knox County said it will begin repairs on the state-owned Byington Beaver Ridge Road in Karns.

The road has been a problem for years and after a recent fatality, John Griffith—a former police officer and traffic accident investigator— dubbed it “the most dangerous stretch of rural two-lane road in Knox County" and posted his complaint on Facebook, asking for something to be done, according to Knox County officials.

According to Jim Snowden, senior director of the county’s Engineering and Public Works Department, the road features “a bit of a horizontal curve” and most people drive much faster than the 35-mph posted speed even though the turn has no shoulder. 

“It’s just a white line and a real steep ditch,” he said. “This is something that probably flew under the radar, but the repairs, which are simple and can be done quickly, are going to make a huge difference with just a little bit of work."

His team will install a pipe through the ditch and backfill the top with dirt and stabilize it with grass so that if someone runs off the road, they’ll then be able to correct it and get back on more easily.

“I’m glad we can tackle this project and have the end result be better and safer infrastructure for this highly trafficked area,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs.

Snowden said he was glad Griffith brought the issue to the Mayor’s attention.

“Believe it or not, some of the worst spots—most dangerous spots—people never call about,” he said.

Griffith, who has lived on the road for 15 years, said he was encouraged by the news.

He added: “Over the weekend, I posted something on social media about this latest [fatal] crash. Within 72 hours, I had a response from the Knox County Mayor's Office. I met with the Mayor and I explained the history of the hundreds of crashes I personally know have occurred out here. They're implementing a solution. They're going to make it happen, and they're going to make it happen rapidly.”

Commissioner Terry Hill, who represents the district, also thanked Mayor Jacobs and his team for their quick response, according to Knox County.

“At the end of the day, we are all elected to serve Knox County citizens,” said Sixth District County Commissioner Terry Hill. “I am grateful Mayor Jacobs and his team are doing that by ensuring safe driving conditions for everyone who uses Byington Beaver Ridge.”