County road panel looks at issues with Wayfarer Drive extension

By AUTUMN HUGHES
Posted 7/14/19

An unfinished road apparently approved for completion five years ago garnered discussion during Tuesday’s meeting of the Bradley County Commission's Road Committee.

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County road panel looks at issues with Wayfarer Drive extension

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An unfinished road apparently approved for completion five years ago garnered discussion during a recent meeting of the Bradley County Commission's Road Committee.

According to the minutes of the Feb. 4, 2014, meeting of the Road Committee, Wayfarer Drive was approved for extension with a cul-de-sac to be built at the end of the road. Property owner Ken Cole said at the time he was purchasing property in a development where the roadway had not been completed, but was on the original plat.

“He stated that Wayfarer Drive was at one end and Nipper Road was on the other end, but the two roads were never connected,” the minutes stated.

“Therefore, there is not a road in front of lots 53 through 59. He is requesting that the county extend Wayfarer Drive approximately 120-140 ft. and make a cul-de-sac.”

Cole also requested a quit claim deed for “what was proposed to be a roadway in front of the remaining lots. He is purchasing lots 54 through 59 and will be asking that the interior lot lines be dissolved.”

Wayfarer Drive is located near Waterville Golf Course, off Dalton Pike.

The issue came before the current Road Committee during last month’s meeting, when Cole said the road still hasn’t been completed.

Bradley County Road Supt. Sandra Knight said completing the road will cost $100,000. She noted the approval to complete the road never came to the Road Department.

The committee voted last month to look into what was approved with this particular road and whether it had gone through the Bradley County Regional Planning Commission and full County Commission approval, as well as request an opinion from county attorney Crystal Freiberg.

Road Committee Chairman Kevin Raper directed the committee to minutes from the 2014 meeting, and asked Knight for an update. Knight said the minutes show discussion, noting Bradley County spent $23,000 to extend Wayfarer Drive as a gravel road and put in a gravel cul-de-sac.

Knight added, to her knowledge, the Road Department has never widened and built a road for developers to build off of.

In addition, Knight said the monetary value of $10,000 cost mentioned in the 2014 meeting minutes indicates  there were no plans to pave it. She said the improvements were done in 2018.

Ken Cole’s son, Jason Cole, was present for the meeting. He said in the most recent meeting minutes there was a $100,000 cost estimated by Knight, noting that is a $500-per-foot cost.

"I don't think that number's correct," he said, adding he believes the estimate should be closer to $275 to $300 per foot.

"We are not road builders," Knight said, adding the Road Department doesn't have equipment or expertise to build roads.

Cole said the Road Committee agreed in 2014 to extend Wayfarer Drive and put in a cul-de-sac.

"Now it's at the point I can't finish it," Cole said, adding he cannot pave it without the county's permission. "We've got to do something."

Freiberg said she understands the completed portion of Wayfarer Drive is a county road and has been taken into the road system.

Jennifer Cole said she understood the road was going to be paved, which is why they had a survey done and put in utilities.

Jason Cole said the commissioners serving on the committee in 2014 "cut a deal."

"I don't know how you can't finish it," he said, adding his father purchased the property two weeks after that 2014 meeting so he could be sure something was worked out.

Knight said she can bring the Road Committee a specific cost to pave the existing 10-foot-wide surface and paving the gravel portion, which is 16-feet wide.

Raper said the committee members will revisit this issue next month, after they get the figures from Knight.

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