One of the biggest is the concerted effort to meet pressing deadlines for the new 1.4 million square-foot Whirlpool plant and distribution center on Benton Pike near the Michigan Avenue Road intersection. Although extensive line relocations will pave the way for the new manufacturing facility and warehouse, a new substation — that was already in the hopper for the distant future — will benefit other existing and new developments in the area.
Like their CU brethren in the Water Division, electric workers have also been charging ahead on projects like the Dalton Pike widening project in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The project stretches from McGrady Drive to the National Guard Armory.
Crews have also been busy completing all tasks related to the Park View Elementary School development on Minnis Road, as well as future endeavors such as a coming research project with Tennessee Tech University to focus on improving traffic flow over the next two to three-year period in the Exit 20 interchange area off Interstate 75. This will be a timing study and will be conducted prior to the construction of a new bridge in that location.
The CU Electric Division is also involved in a slew of other projects in conjunction with planners, contractors and future developments.
Dennis Daniel, manager of CU’s Electric Division, said crews are already setting steel poles in the Benton Pike and Old Powerline Road area preparing for the Whirlpool development.
“Seven poles have already been set in the portion of the line that will parallel TVA’s line,” he explained. “We will also be setting the two poles on the south side on Benton Pike along Old Powerline Road that will be used to serve 69 kv to the new sub(station) and also serve as a route for the outgoing 13 kv feeders.”
He said CU is working with TDOT engineers to determine the exact location for another six poles to be placed along Benton Pike in front of the plant project.
Meanwhile, work is progressing on preparation for the new substation.
“At the substation locations, trees have been removed from the site and we are working on developing a site and grading plan,” Daniel noted.
Electric work on the Dalton Pike widening project is also moving along, but much remains to be done in the area of the primary Walmart intersection.
“ ... The contractor will have quite a lot of work at McGrady Drive and the entrance to Walmart since the entire intersection will be lowered,” Daniel noted. “This will affect the existing traffic lights, street lights and underground primary on McGrady Drive.”
Daniel credited the work of the line relocation contractor and said the three-partner — Cleveland Utilities, TDOT and outside contractor — project is proceeding smoothly.
The CU Electric Division leader also reported his staff is working with a customer over potential plans to build and operate a new metal recycling center at 1675 Overhead Bridge Road. Preliminary plans call for the complex to recycle all types of metals with an intent of eventually being able to grind up and recycle metal from old cars and metal appliances.
The utility has also been involved in working with the Bradley County School System and county engineering to install flashing school zone signs on Minnis Road for the new elementary school.
“This installation, like all traffic signal installations and maintenance of these signals, is governed by a set of standards,” Daniel said.
Another major traffic control-related project to involve the local utility is the Exit 20 timing study.
“ ... This research project is being conducted by Dr. Steven Click from Tennessee Tech University,” Daniel said. “This is a timing study ... and will focus on improving traffic flow over the next two to three-year period before the construction of a new bridge at that location. The study will collect and analyze data and eventually we hope will result in better traffic flow in that congested area.”
CU’s electric staff are also reviewing several plans for developments and plats of potential new construction that will require electric service. A few of these include:
- A site plan and final plat for the property at the corner of Mouse Creek Road and Paul Huff Parkway which will be retail shops and restaurants.
- A site plan at the intersection of Inman and 1st streets for the expansion of the Island Oasis convenience store.
- Stone Gate subdivision which will be a 23-lot development off Logan Road.
- A Wendy’s restaurant site plan on McGrady Drive near BI-LO Food Stores.
- The Crossing Apartments at 13th Street located between North Cleveland Church of God and Brown Stove.
- A final plat for the Life Care Centers of America warehouse on Sahara Drive.