published Friday, June 13th, 2014

Route 60 residents awaiting right-of-way talks

Doug Berry, vice president of industrial development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, left, and Bradley County Commissioner Terry Caywood, who serves as vice chairman of the Highway 60 Corridor Management Committee listen to presentations given by state transportation officials.
Doug Berry, vice president of industrial development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, left, and Bradley County Commissioner Terry Caywood, who serves as vice chairman of the Highway 60 Corridor Management Committee listen to presentations given by state transportation officials.
Photo by Paul Leach.

CLEVELAND — Discussions about right-of-way acquisitions related to proposed improvements to state Route 60 along Georgetown Road still are months away, according to state transportation officials.

"It's taking us a little bit longer to get our technical studies done," said Scott Medlin, project manager of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. "By the late part of summer we expect to have our environmental document completed."

The right-of-way acquisition public discussions on the widening of Georgetown Road's two lanes to five between the Interstate 75 interchange and the intersection with Eureka Road were originally planned for May.

Once the Federal Highway Administration approves the environmental document, TDOT will be able to release the final right-of-way plan, Medlin said. Letters then will be issued to all property owners affected by the project.

Bradley County Commissioner Bill Winters said property owners in the area have concerns about the timeline for right-of-way acquisition and the construction project as a whole.

There are five subdivisions within 1.5 miles of the road that could be affected by the project and the "human factor" is that people are anxious to know what kind of long-range plans they need to make, Winters said.

While most of the properties are privately owned, some properties at the entrances of nearby subdivisions are collectively owned by local homeowner associations, he said.

The flow of money is also a factor in how quickly the process can progress, said Bradley County Commissioner Terry Caywood.

"The money for purchasing rights of way for the project have been appropriated by the state Legislature, but the monies for building the highway have not been appropriated," Caywood said.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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