Oak Ridge has received a $433,000 grant for improvements at two intersections on Oak Ridge Turnpike, one at South Tulane Avenue and the other at East Division Road/Tennyson Road. The improvements, which require a 20 percent local match of roughly $108,000, will include marked crosswalks, ramps, and upgrades to help pedestrians.
The project will include traffic signal and pedestrian feature upgrades at the intersection of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Tulane Avenue, between the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce and Oak Ridge Municipal Building. The upgrades will include the addition of handicap ramps, crosswalks, countdown pedestrian signals with push buttons, and radar vehicle detection, Oak Ridge Community Development Director Kathryn Baldwin said in a December 1 memo to City Manager Mark Watson. A traffic signal pole will be relocated to avoid conflicts with overhead utilities.
Improvements at East Division Road/Tennyson Road, near Methodist Medical Center, will include the addition of handicap ramps, crosswalks, and countdown pedestrian signals with push buttons and radar vehicle detection. Sidewalks could be added where there are gaps or where new handicap ramps are disconnected from existing sidewalks, Baldwin said.
She said the two intersections were chosen to help encourage safe pedestrian connections between the north and south sides of Oak Ridge Turnpike near Methodist Medical Center (at Tennyson Road) and the expected redevelopment at Main Street Oak Ridge (at Tulane Avenue).
There are also pedestrians who use the intersections from Oak Ridge High School, nearby church and medical facilities, retail shops and restaurants, and homes and multifamily housing, Baldwin said.
The $432,960 grant awarded to the city is a Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP, award from the Tennessee Department of Transportation. It was awarded during the September 23 board meeting of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization.
The total expected cost of the project is $541,200. The TAP award includes a 20 percent local match of $108,240 to be allocated over three years. The city’s local match would come from a Special Programs Fund set up for traffic safety improvements, school crossings, and bicycle and safety improvements.
The Oak Ridge City Council will consider the local match during a regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, December 14, in the Municipal Building Courtroom. See the agenda here.
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