MPO technical panel recommends revisions
by CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Banner Staff Writer
May 08, 2014 | 531 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Changes recommended by the technical coordinating committee of the Cleveland Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization are expected to impact what the area has to offer in terms of transportation.

The first revision was a proposed amendment to the 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program for the city. The proposal adds money to the budget for the 2014 fiscal year to buy right-of-way acreage in the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s project to reconstruct and widen State Route 60 from the four-lane section of Interstate 75 at Westlake Drive to SR-306.

The project is estimated to cost $33,350,000 in total, and funding for the right-of-way phases has come from federal and state funding sources. The MPO had previously allocated $7,600 to that part of the project, and the amendment being considered Wednesday raised the amount to $13,650.

MPO coordinator Greg Thomas said the amendment was drafted at the request of TDOT, and information on the proposed changes has been made available to the public since the group’s March 5 meeting.

“We haven’t had any public comments on it,” Thomas said.

With no members of the public present at the meeting to discuss the amendment, the committee voted to recommend it to the executive board for approval.

The committee also recommended the passage of another TDOT-requested amendment to the Transportation Improvement Program that would allow the Cleveland Urban Area Transit System to purchase three new minibuses. The amount of $118,974 was to be added to program federal, state and local funding sources. The local share was $11,897.

The amendment also had been made available for public comment before the meeting, Thomas said. However, no one was present to comment.

The group also recommended the “smoothing” of the 2010 Census-defined Urbanized Area and Proposed Metropolitan Planning Area, both of which are plans used by the city to help predict future transportation needs.

Changes to both planning areas included extending the lines on the plans’ maps to include part of Charleston and Calhoun.

The executive board, which met shortly after the technical coordinating committee did, later approved the committee’s recommendations after more discussion.