Plans underway to improve Lenoir City intersection near school

6 News Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) - Lenoir City officials say they finally have funding to fix an intersection causing serious headaches.

It's the intersection of Harrison Avenue and Old Highway 95. Lenoir City High School is at the corner.

When students are in class, the intersection has light traffic. However, when the school of 1,200 lets out at 3:30, the small intersection becomes grid-locked.

Carrie Brand has lived near the intersection for seven years. "It gets really, really packed," she says.

The traffic congestion has been around for almost a decade, but city officials say with recent home construction, and the growth of the high school, it's gotten worse.

"The traffic situation is getting horrendous," says city administrator Dale Hurst. "The intersection at Harrison Road that serves the high school is out of date. It's too small."

To help resolve the traffic nightmare, the mayor and the city council have obtained a grant of $3.2 million to improve it.
"The city council considers this the number one transportation priority in the city," Hurst says.

They've already sent a contract to the state Department of Transportation. They're waiting for approval to begin. "I would love to start work on it as early as this fall," Hurst says.

"I didn't know that, but I'm happy that they are," Carrie Brand says.

Although plans aren't approved yet, Hurst hopes to add additional lanes, and improve the traffic signal. He also hopes the grant can be used to improve drainage in the area.

Hurst hopes to see construction completed in the next couple of years. Officials plan to do the work during the summer when students aren't in class.