TDOT to spend $1.2 million to make Highway 116 safer

Information from WYSH Radio

The Tennessee Department of Transportation will spend more than $1.2 million to make safety improvements on Highway 116, also known as New River Highway, in Anderson County’s Briceville community.

After a string of accidents, including some fatalities, on the rural road, local officials began trying to find ways to prevent them in the future and those efforts paid off last August when a team of TDOT officials joined Anderson County commissioners Tim Isbel and Zach Bates, members of the Briceville Volunteer Fire Department, and deputies from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department on a tour of the 11-mile stretch of road from Frost Bottom to the Campbell County line.

During the safety audit, officials noted that the road is narrow and has many curves with shoulders less than two feet wide. In some spots, lanes are too narrow, in others there are no guardrails, and in still other areas, the shoulder is actually less than a foot wide. Slope stability issues were also blamed for some cracking and uneven settling of the pavement, and some spots that have been resurfaced do not have pavement markings. There are also rock outcroppings and other hazards are too close to the roadway for TDOT’s comfort.

TDOT has recommended paving the entire stretch of Highway 116, widening the shoulders in some places, and adding guardrails, pavement markings, and signage to the roadway as part of the effort to make the road safer.

Local members of the Road Safety Audit Review team included Isbel, Bates, Commission Chairman Chuck Fritts, Tennessee representatives John Ragan and Kelly Keisling, and Deputy Danny Bray and Tony Errington of the Briceville VFD. Work is expected to begin later this summer.

Information in this story brought to you through an agreement between Oak Ridge Today and WYSH. See more local news headlines on the WYSH website at http://www.wyshradio.com/local_news.html.

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