Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely has accepted the recommendation of the citizen resource team for Phase 2 improvements to US 321 (SR 73) in Sevier County.
The citizens resource team was charged with studying improvements between Buckhorn Road and State Route 416 in Pittman Center.
“The citizens involved in this effort contributed a great deal of time and effort for the sake of their community,” Nicely said. “US 321 in Sevier County is one of the most scenic roads in Tennessee and the recommendations by the citizens resource team will ensure the road improvement project will fit into the environment.”
Due to current funding constraints, a time frame for the construction of this project is not yet known. Also the East Tennessee Rural Planning Organization (RPO) will be instrumental in prioritizing the project into ITS regional transportation plan.
In the spring of 2003, Gov. Phil Bredesen and Nicely targeted 15 of the state’s most controversial road projects for re-consideration, including one under way on US 321, and requested that they be studied by the University of Tennessee Transportation Center for Transportation Research.
After the UT study results came in, TDOT announced in October 2003 that the department would move forward with the US 321 projects, with modifications, and after a full study involving local citizens, the City of Gatlinburg and Sevier County officials.
The US 321 Phase Two Citizen Resource Team was formed in 2004 and held 13 team meetings and three public meetings. The team’s goals included developing a consistent overall theme along the corridor and creating a parkway feel for the facility.