Marshall Elizer, a consultant working with TDOT, presented an overview of the Highway 60 Corridor Management Agreement with updates on action that local governments need to take to move forward.
The Highway 60 project was chosen as one of only two corridor management agreement pilot programs in the state, according to Scott Medlin of TDOT.
The model was developed through grant funds from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.
Elizer said one of the reasons the Highway 60 Corridor was chosen was because of a “strong history of local planning and coordination with the state.”
“A corridor management agreement ... is a collaborative agreement between multiple jurisdictions or agencies that addresses the development, management and operations of a roadway corridor,” Elizer said.
In this case the agreement would be with the state of Tennessee, Bradley County and the city of Cleveland. Tennessee has adopted the memorandum of understanding model for the CMA agreements.
The agreement would address several elements of the state route including economic development, environmental issues and best use of funding.
“This should wind up helping the expenditure of local funds, state funds and private funds more efficiently,” Elizer said.
The consultant stressed that the agreement was not an attempt by state government to control zoning or how local land is used, but is simply a way to work together in the planning process.
At-Large Councilman Richard Banks asked if additional funding was needed to enter into the Corridor Management Agreement.
Elizer said the agreement was not an additional project, but merely a more collaborative approach to planning for the future of the road.
Banks clarified that the city would only be responsible for the portion within the city. Elizer said that was correct.
While participating in the pilot program does not necessarily bring additional funding to the area, it may in the future.
“The agencies that become a part of this for corridor planning may have a better chance at receiving funds,” Elizer said.
Tanisha Hall of long-range planning for TDOT was also present to answer questions about the project.
Hall said this type of planning prepares for growth and anticipates problems rather than dealing with them when they become a major issue.
Elizer also presented information on the agreement to the Bradley County Commission at a work session Monday evening. Elizer will make a similar presentation for the Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 14.
After the presentations, the corridor management agreement will be amended to fit local needs and be reviewed by the governments involved for approval.
The Council voted 5-2 against changing the deadline for a vote on whether to move forward with proposed improvements to 25th and Ocoee streets from 90 days to 60 days. The 90-day time frame was originally established to give enough time for a traffic study of the roads to be conducted.
Banks questioned whether this would be enough time to include Lee University students in the number. Cleveland Utilities Traffic Signal Coordinator Tad Bacon said he would have enough time to conduct the needed studies even if the deadline was changed. Limiting the time frame from the originally established 90 days to 60 days was suggested by city manager Janice Casteel. She said this would still give ample time for the traffic studies to be done and could maintain the project’s spot on TDOT’s list if the Council chose to move forward with improvements.
“Unless something changes drastically ... I would not be able to support this motion at all,” At-Large Councilman George Poe Jr. said.
Poe said he had received calls from concerned residents and business owners on proposed improvements to the intersection.
Second District Councilman Bill Estes said business owners he had spoken with may not be happy with the proposed changes, but concede that they may be inevitable.
Also during Monday’s work session:
- The Council received an update on paving projects. Projects on Elm St., Eugenia Avenue and Everhart Drive are being delayed due to utility work.
- The Council was also shown the latest design for the new city website.