Tennessee Department of Transportation Department officials said both segments of the project are in the environmental phase. The first segment, between the middle school and Freewill Road, is running concurrently in the environmental and preliminary design phases. The plan shows a five-lane road with a center turn lane, curbs, gutters and sidewalks 5 feet wide on both sides of the road in a 104-foot right of way. Also, a new bridge across Candies Creek is planned. The first segment should enter the right of way phase sometime this summer at which time there will be another meeting.
The second segment lies between Freewill Road and State Route 58 where TDOT proposes a divided four-lane with a 48-foot depressed grass median within a 300-foot right of way. That portion of the project is still in the environmental phase. The existing SR 60 will remain in place. It will be dropped from TDOT’s inventory and maintenance shifted to the local level.
Joan Still, 82, said she was concerned about the home and property that belonged to her grandfather.
“My grandfather owned 1,000 acres when they built the Chickamauga Dam (in the late 1930s) and he came to Bradley County and bought five farms,” she said. “I still own 49 acres of one of the farms that was 365 acres.”
Still said she is concerned the project will take her barn.
One man asked what would happen if the road covers his water well, as plans currently show.
Robert Rodgers, representing the TDOT Design Division, said the man would be paid for the well and that money could be used to dig a new well. If it is the only source of water, then TDOT would have to buy the man’s property.
In the early stages, the right of way is expected to encompass 251 acres of which 150 acres are farmland. It is projected to affect 13 residences and six businesses.
Veterinarian Dr. Jerry Bancroft said he was adamantly opposed to the design of the intersection at Freewill Road in Hopewell. His office is on the southwest corner of the intersection. Current plans show the new intersection avoiding a telephone equipment building and part of the playground at Hopewell Elementary School on the southeast quadrant and taking up most of Bancroft’s parking lot. The design also affects Judy Odeh, who would lose her home.
Bancroft said people don’t remember in the middle 1980s when he gave up property to straighten out the dogleg intersection of Freewill Road and Eureka Road. He said 13 people had been killed at that spot in three years. Since then, there has only been one death since the intersection was realigned.
All lanes will be 12 feet wide with 10-foot shoulders. A future diamond interchange is planned for the intersection of the new SR 60 alignment with SR 58 bridging over SR 60.
The project is being developed to improve the route between Cleveland and Dayton; improve safety and operating conditions; increase traffic capacity, and accommodate future growth.
An Environmental Assessment report was prepared and approved by the Federal Highway Administration on Oct. 18, 2001, with a public hearing held on Dec. 11, 2001. Since that time, TDOT has been preparing a Finding of No Significant (environmental) Impact, which will complete the environmental phase. The first segment will move into final design, development of right of way plans and construction. The Federal Highway Administration is expected to approve the environmental document sometime this summer.