BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County commissioners have, for the most part, spoken in favor this week of asking the state to study building a new road “between State Route 34, State Route 126, State Route 1, and Exit 74 on Interstate 81.”
But so far no one in county government has been able to identify the location of “State Route 34” or “State Route 1.”
Commissioners have asked each other that question. Some have asked highway department personnel — who in turn asked sheriff’s personnel.
No one had a clear answer.
But the consensus of commissioners has been that the main point is they want the state to study building a road to link the 11-W/I-81 interchange area with the Volunteer Parkway (11-E) area near Walmart and Bill Gatton Honda.
Commissioner Bryan Boyd is the primary sponsor of a resolution seeking the full commission’s endorsement of asking the state to study the issue.
Boyd said the best route to link the two areas would go through Steele Creek Park — but he said he’d been told that simply won’t be allowed to happen.
Boyd, chairman of the commission’s Administrative Committee, said the new road is needed to give people on the lower end of Bristol a more direct route to the 11-W/I-81 area, to provide easier access to the hospital — and “The Pinnacle” retail center now under development that will feature a Bass Pro Shops.
Boyd said the road also is needed to provide a better, more direct route from I-81 to Bristol Motor Speedway. And, Boyd said, building the new road would open up lots of land for development.
Boyd said the Bristol Tennessee City Council recently approved a similar resolution.
The proposal is listed as “first reading” on the full commission’s agenda for Nov. 18.