Interchange may get name Monday

Interchange may get name Monday

August 17th, 2012 by Randall Higgins in News

Cleveland, Tennessee, Mayor Tom Rowland speaks in this file photo.

Cleveland, Tennessee, Mayor Tom Rowland speaks in this...

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

Illustration by Laura McNutt /Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The future APD 40 interchange soon may have a name -- Cherokee Gateway.

"The name was first suggested by [former U.S. Rep.] Zach Wamp," Mayor Tom Rowland said.

Wamp suggested the interchange be called a gateway to the Cherokee National Forest, much as an Interstate 40 exit at Sevierville serves as the "gateway" to the Smokies.

The Cleveland City Council adopted the name, and on Monday the Bradley County Commission will vote on the name, as well. The interchange project is funded by the city, county and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

For several years the project, nearly halfway between South Lee Highway and exit 20 on Interstate 75, has gone by its Tennessee Department of Transportation label, LIC North and LIC South. LIC means local interstate connector. South would be the south side of the interchange, including a road to a future industrial park.

Since early construction has begun on the LIC South, TDOT wanted a name in order to plan future signs, according to Scott Medlin, project manager for the APD 40 interchange into which local connector roads will flow.

The south connector road is expected to be finished by the end of 2013, said Dan Howell, assistant to Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis.

Medlin said the length of the name determines the dimensions of the overhead sign supports.

Cleveland is the lead agency for the LIC projects. LIC North is in the design phase.

City Manager Janice Casteel said Thursday that the city and Bradley County are giving $1 million each to LIC South and the state is funding $2 million.

"On LIC North our estimates were $875,000 each for the city and county and the state to match the local funding, estimated at $1,750,000." Casteel said.

The total cost is funded half by the state and half by local government. Cleveland and Bradley County are splitting the local match with $1 million on each project.