Corridor K schedule adjusted
At a recent meeting with local partners in Cleveland, Jim Ozment, Director of TDOT’s Environmental Division, discussed the project status and the new schedule dates, which shifted the major milestones.
The fate of the Corridor K project has resurged to the forefront in light of the recent rockslide that closed the road for several days last week. A temporary traffic light was installed to allow traffic to flow through one lane at the site of the most recent rockslide, which is the same location as a slide that closed Hwy 64 for several months in 2010.
According to information from Chester Sutherland, Project Manager/NEPA Project Manager, progress is continuing on completion of technical studies and the development of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, but the project schedule had been adjusted based on their current understanding of the tasks ahead.
At a recent meeting with local partners in Cleveland, Jim Ozment, Director of TDOT’s Environmental Division, discussed the project status and the new schedule dates, which shifted the major milestones. The completion of the Record of Decision has been shifted approximately two years to the winter of 2016/2017. Ozment explained it was one of the most complex studies being undertaken in the nation and TDOT began the process with a very simplified schedule. He said as the project had progressed with community and agency input, it became apparent more time would be needed to address the numerous and complex issues involved in the study.
TDOT Commissioner John Shroeder reiterated that TDOT was committed to completing the environmental studies process for Corridor K, but due to the complexity of the project the process, design and construction would take a significant amount of time. Sutherland said the commissioner was very concerned with vehicular crashes and fatalities and has made safety one of his top priorities. Sutherland said Shroeder has committed to continue to identify and find safety projects throughout the project area in order to provide meaningful improvements to the area now and in the near future.
Steve Allen, Director of TDOT’s Project Planning Division discussed the need for the SR 40 Spot Safety Improvements. While 35 projects were identified for improvements, 11 were identified that TDOT feels immediate and substantive results can be realized with in the least amount of time. For these projects the Commissioner is committed to using state funds. The remaining projects will require more environmental review and design work and may be eligible for other types of funding.
It was reiterated that development of these safety improvements would not impact the work being done in the Corridor K EIS process and that they were two completely separate actions. Sutherland said recent events concerning the slide have shown there remains a need for a safe and reliable route through the Ocoee Gorge.
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