Knox County will receive two grants from the state Department of Transportation, totaling some $1.5 million that it will use to retime traffic lights along busy intersections and create a system so officials can operate some signals from offsite.
The grants are part of more than $27 million in “Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement” grants that TDOT will allocate to 11 communities across the state to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
For Knox County that means using $105,500 to retime 20 signalized intersections along four of the county’s most heavily traveled corridors: Lovell Road, Dutchtown Road, Hardin Valley Road and Peters Road/Ebenezer Road.
“This project will maximize the efficiency of the existing transportation network by optimizing signal operations,” the county said in a released statement, adding that it should take about six months to complete.
The second grant, a $1.4 million allocation, will help build the infrastructure for a “traffic operations center” so officials can communicate and control signals between the county’s engineering facility on Baxter Avenue and Maynardville Highway and Cedar Bluff Road.
This project is expected to take 16 months to complete.
“The result will be better air quality and reduced congestion, which improves the quality of life for Tennesseans and creates more livable communities all over the state, said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer in a released statement.
Deputy Commissioner Toks Omishakin, Chief of TDOT’s Environment and Planning Bureau, agreed.
“From better traffic signal coordination in Gatlinburg to expanded park and ride options for several Memphis communities, many of these projects will offer great benefits to travelers across the state,” he said. “Through this program, we are also making great strides in our efforts to reduce emissions and improve air quality.”