The Paul Huff Parkway extension to Freewill Road is a road the city would like to build but might never be able to afford. It is included in the 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan expected to be adopted in May. But, for the city to ever move the project forward, the one-mile extension must be added to the local road network.
Cleveland Community Development Director Greg Thomas said Ron Barker, the developer who owns the property on Georgetown Road at the foot of Paul Huff, has agreed to donate the right of way for the extension. But, the exact pathway of the extension to Freewill Road has not been determined.
“The reason this exists is, in order for us to advance the project it will need to be in a functionally classified network in order to spend the urban (Surface Transportation Program) funds on the project,” Thomas said. “That’s the reason for this request — for TDOT to add it to the network.”
Five amendments were added to the 2011-14 Transportation Improvement Plan as a matter of housekeeping: Cleveland Depot renovations; the Blythe-Bower Safe Routes To School Project; revising the type of funding for the Blythe-Bower project; adding the Phase IV Greenway Master Plan, and adding a new project grouping for Safe Routes To School projects.
The Cleveland Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is responsible for all transportation planning projects, plans and services in the Cleveland urban area.
The boundaries of the Cleveland MPO extend beyond the city limits and include projects considered by Bradley County.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said he is often asked why there is no strategic transportation planning.
“Well, this is it and it’s constantly updated,” he said. “Planning is addressed and even as money becomes available it is addressed.”
The MPO has a technical committee of representatives from the city of Cleveland, Bradley County, Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Tennessee Development District, Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Transit Administration.
The MPO Executive Board consists of Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency Executive Director Ray Evans, and the governor’s representative, Deborah Fleming.
Rowland pointed out that the Wednesday meeting was Fleming’s last one before Gov. Phil Bredesen leaves office and Gov.-elect Bill Haslam is sworn in.
“I just want to go on record that Deborah Fleming is an asset to our MPO,” Rowland said. “She’s been faithful, loyal and contributes quite a bit. We just want the record to show we appreciate your service and hope you continue with us for a long time.”
The next meeting date is scheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 2.
All transportation plans are available at the public library, Chamber of Commerce and Community Development office. For more information about the MPO, the Transportation Improvement Program, the Long Range Transportation Plan and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, please visit www.cityofclevelandtn.com/MPO/mpo.html, or the Community Development Department at 185 2nd St. N.E., or call 423-479-1913.