South Wilcox Drive is a public entrance to the corporate campus of Eastman Chemical Co., which would like to see the appearance of the well-traveled corridor improve. Photo by David Grace.
KINGSPORT — If first impressions mean everything, South Wilcox Drive could very well be tested in the coming years.
The four-lane thoroughfare crossing the Holston River and running between downtown Kingsport and Interstate 26 sees anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000 cars a day, and is a hub for offices, strip centers and a variety of other buildings.
And, oh by the way, it's a public entrance to the corporate campus of Eastman Chemical Co., which employs about 7,000 people in the region.
How the look of South Wilcox Drive evolves — and more importantly improves — appears to be high on Eastman's radar screen.
A centerpiece of Eastman's $1.6 billion "Project Inspire" is a new $74 million corporate business center going up on South Wilcox Drive across from the company's employee center and corporate headquarters.
City officials, at the last Kingsport Economic Development Board (KEDB) meeting, highlighted the coordinated work being done by the city and Tennessee Department of Transportation to manage traffic in the area of the planned new corporate business center. The work will eventually include construction of a pedestrian bridge over South Wilcox Drive.
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