Road work ahead: Kingsport BMA gets update on construction projects

Matthew Lane • Updated Dec 5, 2017 at 9:52 AM

KINGSPORT – In an average year, Kingsport spends about $3.8 million on transportation projects, everything from extending sidewalks to stabilizing roads to widening major thoroughfares in town.

Sometimes the work is done in a relatively short amount of time. In other cases, it takes years and sometimes decades to complete. Funding could come entirely from the city, solely from the state and federal government or some combination of the three.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday heard a mid-year update on recently completed transportation projects, projects that are in the works and what's coming in the future.

Recently completed projects

Kingsport and its contractors recently finished the stabilization of Bays Mountain Road and Riverport Road, the last section of sidewalk down Wilcox Drive, improvements to Enterprise Place and the re-signalization of Sullivan and Clay.

The Model City also has a number of ongoing transportation projects, some overseen by the city, while others are being done by the state.

Projects with local funds only

- Indian Trail Drive extension.

- Installation of fiber optic cable along Eastman Road.

Projects with no local funds

- Fort Robinson Drive bridge replacement.

- Widening Rock Springs Road from Cox Hollow to Interstate 26.

- Improving Memorial Boulevard from Center Street to Interstate 81.

- The truck climbing lane on Interstate 81.

- Widening Sullivan Gardens Parkway.

- Widening Fort Henry Drive (State Route 36) to the Washington County line.

Projects with local and state/federal funds

- Installation of sidewalks down Stone Drive.

- Extending the Kingsport Greenbelt on the east side of town.

- Signalizing the Memorial Boulevard/Island Road intersection.

- Interconnecting the signals on Lynn Garden Drive.

- The rebuilding of Main Street.

Assistant Public Works Director Michael Thomson said all of these projects are funded and in the city’s capital improvement plan. In an average year, Kingsport spends roughly $2.5 million on transportation projects, along with another $1.3 million from the Municipal Transportation and Planning Organization.

Thompson notes there are six transportation projects in the long-range plan that are not fully funded, though a funding timeline has been established.

Projects not fully funded

- The connector from Stone Drive to Netherland Inn Road.

- Rebuilding Island Road from Memorial Boulevard to Golf Ridge Drive.

- Improving Sullivan Street from Clinchfield to Lynn Garden Drive.

- Intersection improvements in Colonial Heights.

- Extending Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

- Improving Gibson Mill Road in the vicinity of Lee Apartments.

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