CLEVELAND, Tenn. — A preliminary plan to widen one of Cleveland's busiest intersections, North Ocoee at 25th streets, got its first public viewing Tuesday evening.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation held a public hearing on a proposed project to widen the intersection to seven lanes in each direction. The intersection approaches would include four travel lanes, two left-turn lanes and one right-turn lane. The project includes new curbs and sidewalks and an updated stormwater drainage system, according to TDOT representatives.
Currently 25th Street has two 12-foot east- and westbound lanes and one center turn lane. Ocoee Street has single 12-foot north- and southbound lanes and left- and right-turn lanes.
Several dozen people came to look at the maps and leave comments for TDOT to consider before final plans are made for rights-of-way acquisition.
Dentists Charles and Janice Nicholas looked at how the changes would affect the entrance to their office.
"We came mostly for information," Nicholas said. "It looks like we will get a turn lane we desperately need."
But they and others want to know how much property they may lose for a right of way and how long construction will impede entrances to businesses and homes.
More definite answers will come later in the design and construction bidding process, TDOT representatives said.
Greg Taylor from TDOT's design office, told the audience "most of the changes to this project will come out of tonight's meeting."
Right-of-way plans are scheduled to be ready by June and acquisition will begin in January 2013, according to TDOT representatives. Construction plans could be done by March 2013 with construction beginning in June 2013.
Construction work, according to TDOT, will last one to two years. Funding will be federal and state money, the representatives said.
Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...