Several Bradley County residents attended a public TDOT Right-of-Way Division meeting at Park View Elementary School Thursday night to hear details of the final plans for the new interchange project on S.R. 311 at Stone Lake Extension off of APD-40 in Cleveland, a distance of 0.919 miles. A public meeting was held on Oct. 8, 2009 to solicit public input regarding alignment and location issues. The purpose of Thursday evening’s meeting was to allow property owners the chance to view the final right-of-way plans prior to the beginning of appraisal and negotiations.
Chief of Acquisition and Relocation with the TDOT Right-of-Way Department in Chattanooga Van Lawrence gave a brief overview of the project followed by a general question and answer period. He addressed the crowd stating there are presently 23 tracts affected with one residential relocation. The physical surveying of this project is completed. The independent fee appraiser for this project is Nelson Pratt from Knoxville. He was not in attendance.
Mr. Lawrence explained appraisal work is in progress and will be completed in the spring of this year. Upon completion, the appraisals will be submitted to his office for review and approval. Negotiation paperwork will then be prepared and the written fair market value offer is presented to the property owner at that time. Negotiations are expected to begin this summer.
One concerned resident said, “We’re having this shoved down our throats. We’ve voiced our opinion against it and voiced our opinion against the industrial park. There are too many things going on here that we are not let in on. Every time you’ve had a meeting and wanted to know our opinion on it, we’ve all voiced our opinion. I’m not happy. I don’t know too many people here that are happy with this project because again, it’s being shoved down our throats. We’re just going to get the short end of stick. We are going to get shafted on the acquisition deal as well.”
Mr. Lawrence responded, “Everyone will get a copy of the appraisal. You don’t have to accept the offer unless you want to. You do have that choice. We do not have that many condemnations. Local representatives in this area are the ones that have pushed this project.”
He went on to explain, completion of this project will take at least two to three years to finish depending on how much time it takes to acquire the property. This project is separate from construction of the I-75 Exit 20 project. The starting date for that project is slated for this spring or summer.
Property owners and residents with additional questions concerning this project can write or call the Region II office at Tennessee Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 22368, Chattanooga, TN 37422. Toll Free 888 711-2339, ext. 1100. For Relocation - 423 510-1111. For Negotiation - 423 510-1121.