Not Done Yet

What a dam mess, literally. For those who has been keeping up with the sand bagging of Fort Loudon and Tellico Dams, learning the reasons and details for the sand bags seems to confirm our worst fears. Another government boondoggle and a horrendous waste of money. But more changes may be on the way. At least this time the change might be an improvement.

According to an email sent out by the Tellico Village Home Owners Association, some changes are coming to the sand bag wall along the south side of Hwy. 321 at the end of the dam. According to Chuck Bach, General Manager, River Scheduling for TVA, TDOT and TVA officials have met and decided for safety reasons, the sand bags at the on the Blount County side of the dam will be relocated from one side of the road to the other. Currently the sand bags are on the down stream side of the roadway. causing a very severe narrowing of the roadway from the end of the dam to the intersection of the Tellico Parkway entrance ramp. The other side of the road is actually wider with a sidewalk and would improve highway safety.

According to Mr. Bach, TVA staff met with TDOT safety and maintenance engineers as planned on Thursday, Dec. 17.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the traffic-related issues on Highway 321 due to dam safety modifications at Fort Loudoun and Tellico Dams.  TVA presented several options to TDOT to enhance public safety.  Based on discussion with TDOT, a preferred option was chosen and engineering design is underway. The preferred option is to relocate the temporary floodwall from the downstream to the upstream side of Highway 321.  Only a single layer of baskets with a concrete barrier will be required due to the higher roadway elevation on the upstream side.  Upon completion, the engineering design will be presented to TDOT for concurrence.  Upon concurrence, TVA anticipates that construction will begin by mid January 2010 due to TDOT holiday lane closure restrictions. Bach also went on the say that all road signs will be replaced to be visible over the top of the temporary walls by no later than Jan. 1.

So, if you are one of those unfortunate people who must travel across the dam on a regular basis, get ready for more delays during construction. But take heart. At least this time maybe we will see some improvements to an already awful mess. But you've just got to wonder, why didn't they think of this to start with.