Rhea County Starting Work On Several Road Projects

  • Friday, April 12, 2024
The Rhea County Commission voted Thursday to enter into an agreement with the state of Tennessee to work on several road projects over the next few months in the county.

County Executive Jim Vincent presented to the commission agreements that will work on the railroad crossing at Payne Lane. This will include crossing guards and signage along with new pavement at the crossing.

The other project will make miscellaneous safety improvements to Possum Trot Road from Highway 68 to Big Neck Road, Black Oak Ridge Road from the Rhea/Hamilton County line to the city limits of Dayton; and Garrison/Armstrong Roads from Blythe’s Ferry Road to the city limits of Dayton.
The county will have to make a matching fund of $6,830 for the project.

Commissioner Nick Welch, whose 8th district has two of the projects located in it, said he was glad to see this project come up. “My district is growing quite a bit, and this will help,” he said. He also pointed out that work will begin soon on a new convenience center on Highway 60 and Five Points Road.

Commissioner Welch said the closest convenience center to the Garrison area was over six miles on average to some. Recently, Evensville Mountain Road, Smyrna Lane, and Wolf Creek Road were completed. Work has began on New Union Road. 

The Commission also voted to enter into an agreement with Asher Group Services for Hyper-Reach. The program is a system by where the Rhea Emergency Management Agency will be able to reach out to everyone in Rhea County by their cell phones and landlines to notify them of any emergency situations in the county. 

County Executive Vincent said that the agreement would be for five years and will have a 90 day kickout clause in it.

He said, “Brad Harrison (EMA Director) and the Fire Authority Board have worked on this and went through three different companies before selecting the Asher Group for this service."

Chairman Jim Reed, who also chairs the Fire Authority Board, gave credit to Mr. Harrison by saying “besides everything you already do here’s one more thing that we are laying on you.” Chairman Reed also gave credit to commissioner Welch for his work on the project as well.

During the public comments section of the meeting, commissioners heard from Bradley Varner about the construction of the Highway 30/Old Washington Boat Ramp project.

He said he came before the commission “self-serving” telling he was one of the companies that had bid on the construction of the Old Washington Boat Ramp, but was outbid by H&L Construction

Mr. Varner said the ramp is currently closed because the construction has fallen apart. He named several of the components that he said were wrong with the project.

“I’m not trying to point fingers, but I just want to be able to use the boar ramp and go fishing,” said Mr. Varner. He told the commission that the last 30 feet of the project is now gone. It was supposed to be constructed to have year-round access to the river, he said.
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