|As my brother-in-law would say, this is some
absolutely useless information but it's kind of interesting.
Have you ever noticed or wondered why it is that Hwy. 11, Lee Highway, from Dixie Lee Junction to Lenoir City is so crooked and curvy and Hwy 70, Dixie Highway, from the junction to Eaton Cross Roads is so straight? Here's why.
Hwy 11. and Hwy. 70 were both built at the same time, in the early 1920's completed around 1925. Hwy. 70 was constructed as designed and located. However Hwy. 11, the crooked one, got a little side tracked....by politics.
Originally, Hwy. 11 was designed to be nearly as straight as Hwy. 70. It was to follow pretty much a straight line along Old Stage Road, Town Creek Road East, Harrison Road/ Loudon Ridge Road coming into Loudon right around the entrance of Kimberly Clark on Hwy. 11. Some property and right-of-ways had already been acquired.
As we know, that plan didn't work out. You see, on that route, the new "super highway" would not have gone through Lenoir City and that was unacceptable to the politicians of the day.
A lot of arm twisting took place but the state officials refused to alter the road plans just to go through the dusty little town of Lenoir. Fortunately for the city, the pressure was kept up and the official in charge was forced to change the route of the highway to go through the middle of town.
Not to be completely out done by the local politicians, the state official in charge agreed to change the route but stated "I'll move the road, but by God, it'll be so crooked from Knox County to Lenoir City they wont be able to drive it."
So there you have it. That's why Hwy. 11 has so many hooks and crooks in it. Now to be honest, I can't prove this tale with any documentation but this story was told to me by an old gentleman many years ago who worked on the construction of both roads.
I guess some things never change. Politics, politics. Some day, we'll talk about why Fort Loudon Dam is where it is.