60 Join TDOT at meeting to discuss state's 25-year road plan
By DON JACOBS,
jacobs@knews.com

September 14, 2004

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Quote. . . . . . . . . "The days of lots of money to build lots of roads are gone," Fleming said, (Deborah Fleming, TDOT's project manager for the LRTP) "It's important that we spend our money wisely and establish priorities."

Susan Keller, president of the Citizens Against the Pellissippi Parkway Extension, Inc., or CAPPE, couldn't agree more.

"We see that every time you build a large road, communities suffer," said Keller, of Maryville. She wondered if TDOT would conduct new environmental impact studies on the 4.5-mile extension in Blount County that will connect State Route 33 and U.S. 321. The road has been held up in federal court because CAPPE alleged insufficient impact studies accompanied the decision to build the four-lane, divided highway.

"If we are free to follow through with that road, we will not do so without a full environmental impact statement," Comer said.

Keller said she was "delighted to hear" Comer's commitment.

"We've been trying to get an answer on this from the state for years," she said. Keller said she doesn't think TDOT has studied the impact of the road and its subsequent development, on already overcrowded schools.

Don Jacobs may be reached at 865-342-6345.