Netherland Inn Road roundabout reopens

Matthew Lane • Oct 3, 2012 at 9:49 AM

KINGSPORT — Ridgefields residents and motorists coming from Hawkins County will be particularly pleased to know the roundabout at Netherland Inn Road has reopened for traffic.

The roundabout at the intersection of Netherland Inn Road, Industry Drive and West Center Street has been closed the past 45 days while Summers Taylor construction company worked to replace all of the concrete surrounding the roundabout, which suffered from concrete failure soon after opening for traffic last year.

An analysis of the concrete by a local engineering firm found the concrete had more entrained air than specified, and that the concrete cooked much faster than desired. Lyons Construction of Kingsport — which has since gone out of business — built the roundabout for the city.

In order to solve the problem, Kingsport officials worked with Lyons’ bonding agent and insurance company, which covered the cost of replacing all of the concrete in the roadway, the truck apron and some curbing. The sidewalks did not exhibit any failure and were not replaced.

Kingsport Public Works Director Ryan McReynolds said the landscaping work was completed last weekend, and Wednesday afternoon crews re-striped the lanes and opened the intersection for traffic.

McReynolds said the city is pleased with the work.

“Once (Summers Taylor) pulled the concrete up there was some additional work, some wet spots in the subgrade. We allowed two more days (in the contract), so they dug trenches and put in French drains to keep the subgrade dry,” McReynolds explained. “We’ve gotten all the tests back, and everything looks good. The concrete samples showed very good performance and were well within the specifications.”

The contract called for a 45-day project, and that deadline was Thursday. But due to the additional work identified, McReynolds said the city had given Summers Taylor until Saturday to finish the job. The original cost of the project was $600,000.

When Kingsport closed the roundabout, detour routes were established, signs were posted, and barricades were erected to direct traffic through and around the three-way intersection.

However, some motorists didn’t get the point, and the Kingsport Police Department issued over a dozen tickets to motorists who drove around the barricades and the wrong way through the one-way slip lanes, which were open during the early part of the repair project.

The roundabout is similar to other roundabouts in Kingsport, such as Watauga Drive and Gibson Mill Road, and was built in an attempt to improve traffic flow through the heavily used three-way intersection. The concrete roundabout includes a landscaped center and decorative, stamped concrete truck apron.

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