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Staff photo by Tim Barber/ Greg Krum, right, president of Birchwood II Landfill, talks with Charlie Hunt, another investor in the project, and John Woods, vice president Birchwood II, as work continues on the new 25-acre Class III Construction and Debris site slated to open in two to three weeks.

As cleanup in East Brainerd continues in the wake of the Easter tornadoes, a new $3 million construction and demolition landfill in Hamilton County is expected to open within two weeks.

The landfill has been under construction for two years and under engineering, development and planning for three years. It would be the only one of its type in the county, said John Woods, the Chattanooga Lookouts co-owner who is one of the partners in the 25-acre site off Birchwood Pike.

"It couldn't come at a better time for the county," said Woods. "It will be beneficial with the storm damage."

Greg Krum, also a partner in the landfill, said plans are for the facility to open even though it's still not completely finished.

Krum said some state legislators from the Chattanooga area, including state Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, along with a couple of county commissioners and Mayor Jim Coppinger had been consulted about seeking an emergency opening from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

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Staff photo by Tim Barber/ Greg Krum, right, president of Birchwood II Landfill, talks with Charlie Hunt, center, and John Woods, vice president Birchwood II, with plans in hand as work continues on the new 25-acre Class III Construction and Debris site slated to open in two to three weeks.

Krum said the landfill's developers have "a couple of little things" to finish before it can open.

"We're just about there," he said about the project at 9327 Birchwood Pike that's adjacent to an existing solid waste landfill.

Krum said there hasn't been a construction and demolition landfill in the county for about three years.

"That's why we saw the need," he said.

In 2017, the rezoning of the tract was approved by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission and later by the County Commission.

At that time, Krum said plans were to use the same road to enter the new landfill as the existing adjacent facility. It was to be built on wooded property owned at the time by Lamar McDaniel, he said.

Krum said that since the closing of the earlier construction and demolition landfill, such debris has been taken to a site in Bradley County.

At the time, the proposed Birchwood Pike project drew opposition from some neighbors.

Tim Ballard said then that because the new landfill would be privately owned, it would lack monitoring.

But Todd Leamon, a Planning Commission member, said that "it's not sustainable" not to have some type of construction and demolition landfill in the county.

Woods, who grew up in East Ridge though now lives in Atlanta, said a couple of years ago that he still spends two days a week in the Scenic City where he is chief executive officer at Southport Capital, which manages about $600 million in assets.

He also oversees other business interests in Chattanooga in addition to the Lookouts minor league baseball team including commercial developments in East Brainerd, Hixson and soon off Birchwood Pike.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

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