Workers have been removing dirt this month for the eighth rowing lane on the Oak Ridge Rowing Course on the Clinch River on the east end of town.
More than 250 truckloads of dirt had been removed as of November 16, according to Laurel Patrick of First Place Finish Inc., which receivedÂ a $548,350 contract to add the eighth lane during a special meeting in September.Â The work will include a precast concrete block retaining wall and associated dredging and site work.
Oak Ridge officials announced in late October that the speed limit on a section of Melton Lake Drive would be temporarily reduced for at least three months starting Monday, October 31, while the eighth rowing lane is built, and part of the Melton Lake Greenway will be closed as necessary.
TheÂ speed limit has been reduced from 45 miles per hour to 25 mph along Melton Lake Drive between Amanda Drive and Palisades Parkway. The change will remain in place for a minimum of three months Â starting October 31. Signs were to be installed to warn drivers of the reduced speed limit.
The project will also require about 500 feet of greenway to be removed and replaced at the end of construction. As a result, a section of Melton Lake Greenway between Amanda Drive and Palisades Parkway will be temporarily closed, city officials said last month.
The construction of the eighthÂ rowing lane is funded by a combination of state appropriations, City Capital Improvement funds, and a state tourism grant awarded to the Anderson County Tourism Council specifically for the eighthÂ lane project. The Oak Ridge Rowing Association (ORRA), Explore Oak Ridge (the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau), and Visit Knoxville are also contributing agencies.
â€œThese entities have come together to fund a project that will allow the world-class Oak Ridge Rowing Course to attract more and larger events,â€ the city said in a press release. â€œThe new lane also ensures that the Oak Ridge course will remain competitive as one of the top-ranked rowing venues in the United States.â€
Rowing has an annual economic impact of $2 million in Oak Ridge and the surrounding communities, the release said.
For more information, please contact the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department at (865) 425-3450.
MoreÂ information will be added as it becomesÂ available.
See previous stories on the eighth rowing laneÂ here.
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