Planning Commission to consider retail development on S. Illinois Ave.

The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission will consider a preliminary planned unit development, or PUD, plan for a retail development on South Illinois Avenue.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom.

See previous story on a proposed development on South Illinois Avenue here.

TSAB to discuss retail access on S. Illinois, pedestrian traffic control at ORHS

The Oak Ridge Traffic Safety Advisory Board will meet at 7 p.m. to discuss new access for a proposed retail development on South Illinois Avenue and pedestrian traffic control measures on Oak Ridge Turnpike at Oak Ridge High School.

The meeting is in the Municipal Building Training Room.

Police officer, two others taken to hospital after Sunday afternoon crash

South Illinois Avenue Police Car Crash

An Oak Ridge police officer driving a police car and two occupants of a second car were taken to the hospital after a Sunday afternoon crash at South Illinois and Rutgers avenues.

 

An Oak Ridge police officer driving a police car and two occupants of a second car were taken to the hospital after a Sunday afternoon crash at South Illinois and Rutgers avenues.

The two-car crash occurred at about 2:12 p.m. Sunday, the Oak Ridge Police Department said in a statement.

The officer, the only occupant of the police vehicle, was taken by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, ORPD Capt. Charles R. Smith said in the statement. [Read more...]

Railroad tracks removed from South Illinois, Emory Valley

South Illinois Avenue Railroad Track Removal

A work crew from Rogers Group removes unused railroad tracks from South Illinois Avenue just south of Lafayette Drive and Scarboro Road on Saturday night. After the tracks were removed, the railroad crossing was repaved, and the road reopened on Sunday.

 

Note: This story was last updated at 6:30 p.m.

Unused railroad tracks that crossed Briarcliff Avenue, Emory Valley Road, and South Illinois Avenue were removed on Thursday and Saturday night.

Railroad company CSX split the traffic control costs with the city and paid to remove the tracks, Oak Ridge Public Works Director Gary Cinder said. In exchange, the city agreed to repave the roadways as part of street maintenance. The crossing lights were removed as well so that commercial vehicles, including school buses, no longer have to stop at the abandoned crossings and, in the case of school buses and other vehicles that carry children, open and close their doors before proceeding.

The project has been in the works for two years.

“We’re thrilled to finally get to this stage,” Cinder said last week. “It’s been a long time coming.” [Read more...]

South Illinois to be closed Saturday night as railroad tracks removed

South Illinois Avenue Railroad Crossing

A section of South Illinois Avenue will be closed Saturday night as a city contractor removes the abandoned railroad tracks that cross the busy roadway just south of the intersection with Lafayette Drive and Scarboro Road.

 

A section of South Illinois Avenue will be closed Saturday night as a city contractor removes the abandoned railroad tracks that cross the busy roadway just south of the intersection with Lafayette Drive and Scarboro Road.

The work by Rogers Group Inc. should be complete by Sunday, a city press release said.

Workers will start installing traffic control devices to close the road and divert traffic to the detour at about 6 p.m. Saturday. The road, also known as State Route 62, or SR62, will be closed at roughly 8 p.m., the press release said.

“To minimize the inconvenience to the public, this work will take place overnight,” it said. [Read more...]

More development possible on South Illinois Avenue

South Purdue Land Use Plan

The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission on Thursday will consider amending the Land Use Plan to change the designation on parcels 39 and 40 above from residential to business. The parcels are next to Aldi grocery (Parcel 43 at right) and between South Purdue Avenue (white road center right) and South Illinois Avenue (yellow road at bottom). The Planning Commission could consider rezoning the property in July. The new Weigels gas station and convenience store is off the map to the left on Parcel 41. Potomac Circle is at top left. (Image courtesy State of Tennessee)

 

The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission on Thursday will consider amending the city’s Land Use Plan to change the designation of more than two acres on busy South Illinois Avenue from residential to business, possibly to allow a small multi-tenant building to be constructed.

The two parcels being considered are sandwiched between two other recent developments—Weigels gas station and convenience store on one side and Aldi grocery on the other—and also near the new Aubrey’s restaurant, Panera Bread, Ole Ben Franklin Motors, and Bojangles’ restaurant.

A Nashville development group has a contract on the property, Oak Ridge Community Development Director Kathryn Baldwin said Monday. [Read more...]

Police: Suspect sets TV, computer monitor on fire in Walmart parking lot

Walmart Parking Lot Fire

An unknown suspect set several items on fire in the Walmart parking lot in Oak Ridge on Saturday evening. The items included a 50-inch flat-screen television and a computer monitor. (Photo by Jennifer Sampson)

 

An unknown suspect set several items on fire in the Walmart parking lot in Oak Ridge on Saturday evening, authorities said.

The arson included an LG 50-inch flat-screen television, a computer monitor and modem, three computer hard drives, and two Walmart DVDs, Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Sherrill L. Selby said in an incident report.

The fire was reported at about 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Walmart, which is on South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge. Black smoke billowed up from the center of the parking lot until the Oak Ridge Fire Department, which has a fire station nearby, arrived to extinguish the flames. The blaze didn’t appear be set near any vehicles, and there were no reports of injuries.

The police report did not include information on why the suspect might have started the fire.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

More than 400 lose power after car crashes into utility pole on Lafayette

Lafayette Drive Utility Pole Crash

A car crashed into a utility pole on Lafayette Drive early Monday afternoon, knocking out power to 441 customers.

More than 400 customers lost power early Monday afternoon after a car crashed into a utility pole on Lafayette Drive, officials said.

The driver was reportedly taken to a medical center to be examined but appeared to have escaped major injuries, officials said.

The crash, which snapped a utility pole at an intersection with Midway Lane, was reported to the Oak Ridge Electric Department at about 1:20 p.m.

The Electric Department reported that 441 customers lost power. Most were in the Woodland neighborhood along the so-called “P” streets and Quincy Avenue. [Read more...]

Clarksville woman taken to UT hospital after driver falls asleep, car rolls

A Clarksville woman was taken by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville early Sunday after the driver of a car in which she was riding fell asleep, and the vehicle rolled, went airborne, and struck a series of objects on South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge, including a tree and utility pole, authorities said.

The 2011 Toyota Camry four-door sedan was headed north in the right-hand lane of South Illinois Avenue at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday when it first struck a right-hand curb at Centrifuge Way, the former Boeing Road, an Oak Ridge Police Department crash report said. The car then entered a median, rolled over onto its passenger side, struck a utility pole and an embankment, and became airborne, the report said. The vehicle then struck a second curb, became airborne again, struck a tree and embankment at the same time, and came to rest at the bottom of a second embankment. [Read more...]

Pictures: Snow day in Oak Ridge

Snow at South Illinois Avenue and Centrifuge Way

There are few cars on South Illinois Avenue near Centrifuge Way after a winter storm dumped eight to 12 inches of snow on parts of Oak Ridge and Anderson County.

More than eight inches of snow fell in parts of Oak Ridge between Wednesday night and Thursday morning as a major winter storm hit the Southeast. There were reports that up to 12 inches fell in parts of Anderson County. A National Weather Service meteorologist said it was the most snow in one storm in about 15 years.

Here are photos from across Oak Ridge on Thursday morning as some residents and workers cleared roads or shoveled sidewalks and driveways, while others enjoyed the day off by sledding at Blankenship Field.

Sledding at Blankenship Field

Adults and children enjoy sledding at Blankenship Field on Thursday.

[Read more...]

Driver dies after vehicle crashes into tree on Lafayette Drive

Lafayette Drive Fatal Crash into Tree

A southbound Toyota 4Runner crashed into a tree in the median of Lafayette Drive Thursday morning, and the driver died on the way to a Knoxville hospital. Above, workers remove the tree from the road after the driver was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

The driver of a Toyota 4Runner died on the way to a Knoxville hospital Thursday morning after crashing into a tree on Lafayette Drive in Oak Ridge, authorities said.

The single-vehicle crash occurred at about 9:22 a.m. Thursday on Lafayette Drive between Hendrix Drive and South Illinois Avenue, the Oak Ridge Police Department said. The red sports utility vehicle was driving south when it left the roadway and struck a tree in the median between the southbound and northbound lanes.

“The driver was removed from the vehicle and was unresponsive when police and rescue arrived,” the ORPD said. “The driver of the vehicle expired while being transported to University of Tennessee Hospital. No further information will be released pending notification of family members, and the investigation remains ongoing.” [Read more...]

New interchange opens land for development, reuses industrial building

Centrifuge Way Dedication

Local and state officials and business leaders celebrate the new interchange at Centrifuge Way and South Illinois Avenue with a Thursday afternoon ribbon-cutting.

The new interchange at Centrifuge Way and South Illinois Avenue opens land for development on top of Pine Ridge and help a uranium enrichment company reuse an industrial building in south Oak Ridge, officials said Thursday.

The $1.6 million state project to improve the interchange at the former Boeing Road was under way in December 2012 and completed in the summer of 2013.

“Because of this interchange, there will be more land available,” Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan said during a Thursday afternoon ribbon-cutting ceremony. [Read more...]