TDOT will conduct a public meeting on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. to discuss the proposed improvements to East Brainerd Road from east of Graysville Road to east of SR-321 (Ooltewah-Ringgold Road) in Hamilton County. The proposal is to widen the existing two-lane highway to a five-lane curb and gutter section with bicycle lanes and sidewalks. The meeting will be held in the East Hamilton Middle/High School’s dining hall at 2015 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road.
An Environmental Assessment was prepared for the proposed improvements and approved by the Federal Highway Administration on March 1, 2002. A combined Corridor and Design Public Hearing was held on May 30, 2002. After this TDOT prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact for the project, which was approved by the FHWA on Oct. 14, 2003. This completed the environmental phase, allowing the project to move into final design, right-of-way, and construction plans.
Jennifer Flynn, regional community relations officer with TDOT, said, "As more than nine years have passed since the approval of the FONSI, the project is subject to the construction re-evaluation process to assess whether major changes in project area or environmental impacts have occurred. That is the reason for the public meeting."
The proposed improvements to the 3.6 mile area of East Brainerd Road from Graysville Road to Ooltewah-Ringgold Road are divided into two sections that will be developed as separate projects. Section One is approximately 1.89 miles in length and begins east of Graysville Road and ends just past Bel-Air Road. Section Two is approximately 1.73 miles in length and begins at the end of Section One and ends east of Ooltewah-Ringgold Road.
"While the entire 3.6 mile stretch of East Brainerd Road is being re-evaluated, only Section One from east of Graysville Road to east of Bel-Air Road will advance to the design and construction phases at this time," said Ms. Flynn. "The right-of-way acquisition phase on this section is nearly complete, and construction funding for this 1.89-mile section has been proposed for FY 2014. Contingent on funding, the earliest the project might be let to contract is early 2014."
The public meeting will be held to provide local residents and officials with an opportunity to comment on the projects. A brief presentation summarizing the history of the projects and the next steps in the project development process will be given at 5:30 p.m. This will be followed by a question-and-answer period with TDOT officials. Before and after the presentation, project representatives will be available to answer questions. The public is invited to submit comments at the meeting or within 21 days following the meeting.
For more information on the meeting visit http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/public/2012/HamiltonCoInfoMtgSR320.pdf