PF Commission approves connector route | News

PIGEON FORGE — The city commission has voted on the route for the Westside Connector, but it will still be several years before work can start.

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City Commission voted 3-0 Monday to approve a route that takes the road from. Mayor David Wear abstained from voting on the route because family members own property that will be affected by the decision. Commissioner Kevin McClure didn’t attend Monday’s meeting.

The connector is meant to run from Wears Valley Road to Mill Creek Road, and it will empty out onto the Parkway alongside

The city had already outlined much of the route, but was reviewing options for the stretch running from the area near Freedom Baptist Church to near Singing Pines road.

After offering two options at a public forum, the commission settled on a “hybrid” that runs south of the church and Pigeon Forge Care and Rehab, then cuts north and before running parallel to the creek.

The maps viewed so far provide a general idea of the route, but officials said the impact on property along that route could change as they collect more data.

“We’re working off city GIS and aerial photographs off Google maps,” engineer Jeff Mize said. “We don’t have surveys we don’t have property lines.

It will take at least a year to have specific design plans, and after that they will have to negotiate with an estimated 48 property owners, Mize said.

They will also have to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the ways a new bridge over the creek and road along it will alter floodways, he said.

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“You’re probably three years away from construction,” he said. “We’re early in the process. It’s a long process to build a road.”

Several residents attended Monday’s meeting, but only two spoke about the proposed route during public comments.

One person said she hadn’t heard about the proposal until the past few days, and noted the design would run through a corner of her property.

Another just asked to see the map of the route.

Mize noted that the maps were based on preliminary information; the way it runs over some property could still change as they start surveying and collect additional data.

While he didn’t vote, Wear did comment on the route, saying he believed the city came up with the best compromise.

“I think the route is the best compromise we could come up with between all he parties,” he said.

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