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September 21, 2010 - Federal Highway Administration Notice to Rescind
Notice in the Federal Register

SUMMARY: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is issuing this notice to advise the public that the Notice of Intent published on November 4, 2005 to prepare a SEIS for the proposed Route 475 (Knoxville Parkway) from Interstate 75 south of Knoxville to Interstate 75 north of Knoxville, Loudon, Knox, and Anderson Counties, Tennessee, is being rescinded.

Orange Route axed, TDOT official says
By Don Jacobs, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely today is expected to announce that a controversial beltway under consideration for nearly four decades will not be built.

Related Knoxville News Sentinel articles:

Editorial: Killing Orange Route project justified
Sunday, June 27, 2010

Revised traffic numbers, cost doomed road plan
Saturday, June 26, 2010

Beltway's end cheered
Saturday, June 26, 2010

TDOT kills Orange Route
Friday, June 25, 2010

Orange Route axed, TDOT official says

Friday, June 25, 2010
December 27, 2009 - Proposed Orange Route has too many flaws (Note: This link shows all the letters for Dec. 27. Scroll down the linked page to find Mr. Burkhalter's letter.)

Letter to the Editor - Knoxville News Sentinel by David A. Burkhalter

Air pollution experts have opined that this routing would cause dangerous diesel fumes to be trapped in the valleys, unnecessarily exposing the approximate 11,000 students who attend schools and colleges along the route to increased risks of asthma, cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

December 26, 2009 - There are better options than Orange Route
Citizen's Voice - Knoxville News Sentinel by John Fairstein

The Orange Route started out at $287.4 million, then was pitched at $350 million, beating out the Blue and Green Routes. Now the cost for the O-route is estimated at $1.2 billion. Who's going to sign that check?

December 12, 2009 - Create new jobs - Build the Orange Route
Opinion - Knoxville News Sentinel by Jay H. Crippen

If the Orange Route Parkway is built, it will not only reduce traffic through Knoxville, it will create jobs in our area for several years. These jobs will not only come from construction companies but from suppliers of all the materials and by-products for the job...Jay Crippen is president of the Titan Companies which includes Titan Excavating & Grading and Titan Self Storage.

July 3, 2009 - Fight over rail site: Norfolk Southern tries to persuade foes in Jefferson
By Ed Marcum, Knoxville News Sentinel

JEFFERSON CITY - Norfolk Southern officials made a pitch Thursday to Jefferson County residents for a railroad facility in New Market where freight containers and trailers are transferred between trucks and trains - touting its economic benefits, trying to dispel rumors, but generally having a tough time swaying the crowd of about 300 gathered at Jefferson Middle School.

April 18, 2009 - Orange Route not forgotten by TDOT
Project absent from TDOT list, but official says it could be added
By Don Jacobs, Knoxville News Sentinel

When the Tennessee Department of Transportation released its list of 450 transportation projects across the state for the next three years, the proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway, also called the Orange Route, was conspicuously absent. But a TDOT spokesman cautioned to not read too much into that omission. "Just because this project doesn't show up on the list doesn't mean it can't be added later," said TDOT regional spokesman Travis Brickey.

January 22, 2009 - Stop the Boondoggles, Six-Lane Highways, MPOs
Commentary by James S. Russell

...lay out new communities so they can be efficiently served by means other than the auto. A start would be to group people-intensive colleges and commercial centers as hubs along corridors served by transit and walkable streets.

While the bureaucracies (state and federal) get overhauled, officials can easily cross off much on the wish lists, like all those beltways that are really land-development schemes posing as congestion relief. (Charlotte, North Carolina, killed an outer- beltway plan some years ago and has done fine, thank you.)

...The six rail tracks that tunnel into New York’s Penn Station haul as many people as 45 freeway lanes.

December 22, 2008 - In Budget Crises, States Reluctantly Halt Road Projects

...The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has identified 5,000 transportation projects nationwide that lack the dollars to proceed...

“They just haven’t been able to find the resources,” Tony Dorsey, the spokesman for the association, said of the halted projects.

December 8, 2008 - Air tests reveal elevated levels of toxics around schools
By Brad Heath and Blake Morrison, USA TODAY

...Experts say even small amounts of toxic chemicals can do irreparable harm to children, who breathe more air per pound than adults do, and whose bodies process chemicals differently.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Toxic air and America's schools
FIND YOUR SCHOOL: School air with highest chemical levels

Exposures "may be causing mutations in a child's cells that begin the pathway to cancer," says Philip Landrigan, one of the nation's foremost experts on pediatric medicine and a physician at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

September 8, 2008 - Region’s poor air quality in warmer months makes it hard for some to breathe
Mike Blackerby, Knoxville News Sentinal

...According to a 2008 Asthma and Allergy Foundation report, Knoxville is the asthma capital of the world - in great measure due to the poor air quality in East Tennessee. Ozone and particulate matter are the two major agents that spark bad-air days in the area. Sources like automobiles and coal-fired power plants - which spew sulfates, nitrates, carbon, dust and smoke - combine with heat and sunlight to produce pollution in the form of ground-level ozone. That's why the warmer months of May through September generally produce the worst air quality in East Tennessee.
August 5, 2008  - TDOT nixes toll for parkway. Official says citizen opposition reason for not continuing effort.
By Rebecca Ferrar, Knoxville News Sentinal

The state Department of Transportation has scrapped plans to make the proposed Knoxville Parkway a toll road because of significant local opposition, although other work toward construction of the road will continue. TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely announced plans to halt further study of tolls on the road in a letter to Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam. Haslam also is chairman of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

July 28, 2008 - Funds for Highways Plummet As Drivers Cut Gasoline Use
By CHRISTOPHER CONKEY, Wall Street Journal

An unprecedented cutback in driving is slashing the funds available to rebuild the nation's aging highway system and expand mass-transit options, underscoring the economic impact of high gasoline prices. The resulting financial strain is touching off a political battle over government priorities in a new era of expensive oil.

July 17, 2008 - Local toll road discussed at public forum. Drivers may end up paying to drive on the planned Knoxville Parkway.
By SHELBY BAKER WATE 6 News Reporter

About 30 citizens attended a public forum at Bearden High School Thursday night to discuss making the planned bypass around Knoxville a toll road. One local group of citizens says there's not enough traffic to justify running a Parkway through West Knoxville, let alone a toll road.

July 18, 2008 - No toll road if public opposed. TDOT official meets with people worried about Knox parkway.
By J.J. Stambaugh, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely drew a round of applause Thursday when he promised that the proposed Knoxville Parkway won't be a toll road if the public is opposed to the idea. It was the only applause he drew during the 90-minute meeting at Bearden High School, which was attended by about 50 people.

July 6, 2008 - What part of 'no' about toll roads does TDOT not get?

Letter to the Knoxville News sentinel by Mike Hammond, Knox County Commission, District 5, Seat A

The debate over toll roads has its focus on Knox County. The state government is considering the proposed Orange Route as Tennessee's first toll road.

A toll is a form of tax. How Knox County residents will be taxed for use of a road is of great interest to the people's representatives on County Commission. At one time, state government was clear in saying that local opinion would be a prime determinant in its decision. When County Commission voiced its opposition, the state started driving in a different direction.

June 22, 2008 - Toll road for bypass not in public's interest
Letter to the Knoxville News Sentinel to by David Cochran

The News Sentinel's May 21 editorial discussed the Tennessee Department of Transportation's intention to fund their planned Orange Route bypass by making it a toll road. Citizens should be outraged for two reasons.

TDOT has publicly stated that it will not build a road that the public does not want. Yet, when county commissioners passed a resolution by a vote of 18-1, stating they did not support a toll road, TDOT blew them off by saying they would be taking input primarily from the Transportation Planning Organization.

May 8, 2008 - Toll vote a victory, foes say. But state will still proceed with road feasibility study.
By Rebecca Ferrar, Knoxville News Sentinel

Opponents are claiming a victory in their fight against an interstate toll road through Hardin Valley, although state transportation officials are proceeding with a feasibility study of funding the so-called Orange Route with tolls. Knox County Commission voted 18-1 last week to oppose toll roads.

March 26, 2008 - Revitalization curbs suburban sprawl, officials say.
By Ed Marcum, Knoxville News Sentinel

Places like Magnolia Avenue, Cumberland Avenue, Central Street and the South Knoxville waterfront hold the key to making Knoxville a more vibrant city, as well as limiting the problems that come with suburban sprawl.

That was the message of planners, architects and others who addressed the League of Women Voters March 18 touting the benefits of infill development - the idea of filling in leftover spaces in established neighborhoods with new development. Encouraging this rather than the endless spread of new subdivisions and shopping centers on unspoiled land ever further from the center of town, they said, not only revitalizes neighborhoods, but lessens the need for new roads, utilities and other infrastructure, lightening the load on taxpayers.

March 25, 2008 - House OKs removing limits on toll roads
By ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press

NASHVILLE - The state House voted Monday to remove limits on how many toll roads or bridges could be built in Tennessee. House Transportation Chairman Phillip Pinion, a Union City Democrat, said the measure is necessary to jump-start infrastructure projects amid dwindling federal road money. The proposal passed on a 77-13 vote.

Tennessee transportation officials were notified last week that they will need to subtract another $66 million from promised federal money for road work. The federal government has cut nearly a quarter-billion dollars from Tennessee's expected road money since 2005.

March 9, 2008 - Crystal Humphrey thinks tolls on roads will never end
By Crystal Humphrey, Guest Writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel

...On Feb. 27, Knoxville citizens received perhaps the biggest slap in the face as officials literally disregarded tremendous public opposition to further study of the proposed Knoxville Parkway (or Orange Beltway) toll road. Of the 30 members of the public who spoke about the proposal, only two supported continuation of the research. Nonetheless, the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization voted that Tennessee Department of Transportation should continue its research on the toll road.

March 1, 2007 - Toll Road Developer Taps Inside Connections
NewsChannel5 Nashville

Among those pushing for privately operated toll roads is a Capitol Hill lobbyist with close ties to both Pinion and Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "She was the chief of staff here at TDOT," Nicely says. For more than three years, Velma Jones was Nicely's top assistant.

February 28, 2008 - Toll on parkway still possible. Despite opposition, local lawmakers vote to allow further study by state.
By Don Jacobs, Knoxville News Sentinel

Local officials on Wednesday gave state transportation authorities the nod to continue studying the proposed Knoxville Parkway as a toll road, despite vocal public opposition against the concept. "You never see one toll road," Holston Hills resident David Cochran told members of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization's executive board. "They're like roaches. Once you see one, you know there's a bunch more coming."

February 20, 2008 - Toll support weighed - Officials say study shows feasibility for Knoxville Parkway
By J.J. Stambaugh, Knoxville News Sentinel

State officials on Tuesday said they hope to gauge public support for turning the proposed Knoxville Parkway, also called the Orange Route, into Tennessee's first toll road and outlined a study that declares such a project feasible. Ed Cole, who serves as the Tennessee Department of Transportation's environmental bureau chief, cautioned that the feasibility study doesn't say the state should build the hypothetical toll road, only that it can.

August 10, 2007 Heavier trucks take toll on aging roads

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Just like Americans themselves, the nation's roads and bridges are carrying much more weight today. Added to an aging and deteriorating highway system, it means more safety problems, delays and repair costs for drivers, experts said. In just a decade, from 1995 to 2005, the weight load on urban highways increased by half. Since 1970, the weight carried on rural highways has gone up nearly 7 1/2 times, according to Federal Highway Administration statistics. And it's not just more traffic. It's the heavier trucks.

August 6, 2007 - Bridge Collapse Revives Issue of Road Spending

In the past two years, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota twice vetoed legislation to raise the state’s gas tax to pay for transportation needs.Now, with at least five people dead in the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge here, Mr. Pawlenty, a Republican, appears to have had a change of heart.Even as the cause of the bridge disaster here remains under investigation, the collapse is changing a lot of minds about spending priorities. It has focused national attention on the crumbling condition of America’s roadways and bridges — and on the financial and political neglect they have received in Washington and many state capitals.

July 27, 2007 - TDOT Performing Corridor Study Along I-40 and I-81. Study to Identify Improvements for 550 mile Interstate Corridor

Nashville, Tenn. – As Tennessee’s population increases so does the demand for a quality transportation system for all Tennesseans. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is embarking on a first of its kind study to identify improvements for the 550 mile Interstate 40/81 corridor between Bristol and Memphis...

“Tennessee continues to experience increased demands on our interstates, especially I-40 and I-81, but funding levels are not keeping pace with our transportation needs,” said Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “This study will aid TDOT in identifying and implementing transportation solutions that provide cost effective short-term improvements while also working toward long-term investments in our transportation system.”

July 27, 2007 - No end in sight on sinkhole fill work.

By Thomas Benning, Knoxville News Sentinel

Workers and engineers continued efforts Thursday to permanently fix a sinkhole on the southbound side of Pellissippi Parkway, but it is still unclear when the road will again have all lanes open. With traffic restricted to the roadways shoulder, crews drilled four holes, 4-inches wide and 30- to 40-feet deep, according to Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesman Travis Brickey. Starting at 3 p.m., the activity switched from drilling to pumping grout, and barring rain, Brickey was hopeful the holes would be filled by the end of the day. In the next few days, workers will repeat the process, drilling and filling at least 10 holes, but Brickey said it was impossible to estimate an end date for the project.

June 7, 2007 - Norfolk Southern plans $2B corridor
By SONJA BARISIC, Associated Press

nORFOLK, Va. -- Norfolk Southern Corp. plans a $2 billion-plus rail corridor stretching from Louisiana to New Jersey that the freight railroad said Wednesday would speed cargo shipments and reduce highway congestion by diverting truck traffic.The Crescent Corridor project involves expanding and improving Norfolk Southern's rail network from the Northeast to the Southeast. Virginia has committed $40 million in seed money for the Crescent Corridor project, which would run along Interstate 81, a major truck route, said Mike McClellan, Norfolk Southern's vice president of intermodal and automotive marketing. [CABOL Note: Locating a multimodal rail/truck freight terminal in Knoxville is under consideration.]

May 9, 2007 - Tire-bursting sinkhole plugged in 24 hours, crews rip open then reopen piece of Pellissippi

State workers reopened Pellissippi Parkway on Tuesday night, 24 hours after the discovery of a sinkhole that extended 30-feet deep under the southbound lanes....Workers poured 36 dump truck loads of rock weighing about 720 tons into the hole. About 40 yards of concrete was sloshed into the hole to fill voids between the rocks. Topping off the mixture was 60 tons of asphalt, said Bud Slaton, Tennessee Department of Transportation maintenance engineer. [CABOL Note: This sinkhole is very close to where the proposed Beltway passes. The proposed route passes over geological "karst" -- porous limestone and sinkholes.]

May 7, 2007 - Roads To Riches - Why investors are clamoring to take over America's highways, bridges, and airports—and why the public should be nervous

By Emily Thornton, Business Week

Steve Hogan was in a bind. The executive director of Colorado's Northwest Parkway Public Highway Authority had run up $416 million in debt to build the 10-mile toll road between north Denver and the Boulder Turnpike, and he was starting to worry about the high payments. So he tried to refinance, asking bankers in late 2005 to pitch investors on new, lower-interest-rate bonds. But none of the hundreds of investors canvassed was interested...Then, one day last spring, Hogan got a letter from Morgan Stanley (MS ) that promised to solve all of his problems. The bank suggested Hogan could lease the road to a private investor and raise enough money to pay off the whole chunk of debt. Now Hogan, after being inundated with proposals, is in hot-and-heavy negotiations with a team of bidders from Portugal and Brazil. "We literally got responses from around the world," he says.

April 8, 2007 - TDOT seeks authority to toll. Transportation study examines three new roads as candidatesBy DON JACOBS,
The proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway could become the state's first toll road in 80 years if lawmakers approve legislation sought by transportation officials.

April 6, 2007 - Freeway may not be free
The proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway, also called the Orange Route, could become the state's first toll road under new legislation pending before lawmakers.

April 3, 2007 - Justices Say E.P.A. Has Power to Act on Harmful Gases
WASHINGTON, April 2 — In one of its most important environmental decisions in years, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases in automobile emissions. The court further ruled that the agency could not sidestep its authority to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change unless it could provide a scientific basis for its refusal.

March 2, 2007 - Venable: Stay on the lookout for bad things
I argued at the time; this is textbook bait and switch. Downtown traffic isn't backed up for lack of a beltway - instead, it's because the Department of Transportation has the existing interstate system clogged with construction zones. Once the work is finished, those hateful snarls will disappear. Guess what? Work on the stretch of interstate west of town is complete. As a result, traffic flows like silk.

March 1, 2007 - Toll Road Developer Taps Inside Connections. NewsChannel 5 investigates an idea that could cost you money -- just to drive down the road.

Some big companies want to make some Tennessee roads their roads to riches. And one company is using some inside connections to the most powerful people in state government. Because of loopholes in the state's ethics laws, what these companies are doing is entirely legal. But if they get their way, you could still end up paying the price.

February 1, 2007 -- An unpleasant "surprise": higher risks from pollution
By Warren King, Seattle Times medical reporter
Engine exhaust ... contains the tiny airborne particles that contribute to air pollution and health problems. Air pollution has long been known to be bad for the lungs. But new University of Washington research, involving thousands of older women in dozens of cities nationwide, shows that it also raises the risk of women dying from heart disease or stroke. (Click here for University of Washington report).

January 27, 2007 -- Funding faces bumpy roads. TDOT representatives explain limitations, hear needs during luncheon.
"We are facing in this country, and certainly in Tennessee, a transportation funding crisis," said Ed Cole, chief of environment and planning with the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

January 26, 2007 -- Living Near Freeways Hurts Kids' Lungs. Exposure to emissions could lead to respiratory problems later, experts say.
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter (HealthDay News). Children growing up alongside freeways risk having their lung development impaired, which can increase the likelihood of serious respiratory diseases later in life, researchers report (Click here for Lancet summary).

December 9, 2006 -- Would beltway pollute valleys? Study: Toxic air will increase children's risk of cancers, asthma
A study commissioned by a citizens group opposed to the proposed Knoxville Parkway contends that vehicular pollution will settle in the valleys, exposing children to increased risks of cancers and asthma.

December 8, 2006 -- Opponents of Knoxville bypass cite report on cancer risk
By TIM MILLER 6 News Anchor/Reporter
A group of citizens opposed to the planned Knoxville bypass, or Orange Beltway, say they have proof the new highway would be a health risk to people living and working nearby. They call themselves CABOL, Citizens Against the Beltway Orange Location, and they're hoping a new report changes minds at the governor's office and at TDOT.

Sept. 24, 2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Development eats away at 'boonies.' GROWTH SITES: Change called 'inevitable' in Hardin Valley, other areas
Hardin Valley resident Glenn Stirling waved his hand toward the tree-covered ridge behind his house to show where homes from a planned subdivision will be perched. The rumble of heavy equipment busily clearing property for a planned 350-lot subdivision hasn't yet intruded on the ridge.

Sept. 23, 2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Will Hardin Valley ever return to former pastoral setting?
Knoxville's Hardin Valley residents have had their unfair share of hardships lately. Our rural community seems to be under attack by greedy land developers and all levels of government.

July 27, 2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Parkway would have no billboards. Transportation group approves making it part of National Highway System
The proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway garnered unanimous approval Wednesday to be designated as part of the National Highway System and have protection from billboards.

July 19, 2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel - New titles urged for parkway Potential outcome: More federal funding, barring of roadside signs
The proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway inched closer to reality Tuesday with recommendations that the route be designated part of the National Highway System and be deemed a scenic highway.

July 2, 2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Interstates face tougher debate ahead
... the building of interstates is no longer a given. Pollution and damage to the environment are central concerns here as well as staggering costs...

June 20, 2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel - TDOT chief says Orange Route a go. Opposition group leader vows to fight; completion of beltway 15-20 years away
An announcement Monday by state officials that the Orange Route will be built through Hardin Valley was met with disappointment and promises to fight the proposed parkway.

June-20-2006 - WBIR Knoxville, TN - Parkway proposal poses problems for some homeowners
Dan Farkas, Reporter
Some homeowners say the proposal will harm their property value. Others say the TDOT plan promotes progress. Construction will not start for three years. While TDOT officials look forward to construction of a 27-mile Knoxville Parkway that will bypass Knoxville, all Jim Stafford can do is look back. Roosters have made morning wake up calls on the Stafford's property off Hardin Valley Road for 211 years. Five generations have farmed the land since 1795.

June-19-2006 - WBIR Knoxville, TN - TDOT announces approval for Orange Route recommendations
Katie Allison Granju, Producer
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) on Monday announced that the agency, along with Governor Bredesen, have accepted all of the recommendations for the new Knoxville Parkway submitted by the Regional Parkway Design Resource Team.

June 19, 2006 - KnoxNews Blogs - What a horrid waste of money and environment! Running light rail, with auto and truck ferry capabilities, along existing Interstate cooridors makes more sense.
Posted by: djuggler

June-19-2006 - WATE Knoxville, TN - There are still many unanswered questions Monday for those who don't want to see the new Knoxville Parkway cut through their backyards.
By ADAM LONGO, 6 News Reporter
Mark Richey, the head of "CABOL," or Citizens against the Beltway Orange Location, lives flush against the boundary of where the new road will go. Richey says a cost benefit analysis was never completed. And he's concerned about the environment and air quality, especially since the route will go right by Hardin Valley Elementary School.

June-19-2006 - WATE Knoxville, TN - TDOT accepts local recommendations for Knoxville Parkway
State officials accepted local recommendations in the plan for the Knoxville Parkway,
officials announced Monday...The recommendations came from the Regional Design Parkway Resource Team. Its 18 members are from Knox, Loudon, Anderson counties, along with the communities of Hardin Valley, Karns, Heiskell, Claxton, Powell and Solway. Representatives of the Sierra Club and Citizens against Beltway Orange Location also served.

June-19-2006 - WVLT Knoxville, TN - TDOT Accepts Orange Route for Knoxville Parkway
TDOT hopes it has the solution to the traffic nightmares in West Knoxville and West Knox County. Monday it approved a recommended route for the new Knoxville Parkway.

June-19-2006 - TDOT Nashville, Tenn. –  Knoxville Parkway Citizens Team Recommendations are Accepted. Governor and Commissioner ready to move project forward
Governor Phil Bredesen and the Commissioner of the Department ofTransportation (TDOT) announced today they have accepted all of the recommendations for the new Knoxville Parkway recently submitted to the state by the Regional Parkway Design Resource Team.

May-19-2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel -  Nicely still mulling over Orange Route
Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely said he hopes to announce his decision on the proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway on June 19. "Right now, I want to announce my decision at the TPO's June 19 meeting," Nicely said.

May-11-2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Anderson / Blount briefs: May 11 - Beltway interchange move dies in committee CLINTON - A resolution asking Anderson County commissioners to endorse a Raccoon Valley interchange for the proposed Knoxville Beltway has died in committee.

Apr-18 -2006  Orange Route bypass debated. Commission hears both sides of argument for beltway interchange
CLINTON - Opposing groups squared off Monday over whether an interchange for the proposed Knoxville Beltway is needed in the Raccoon Valley area near the Anderson-Knox county line.

April-6-2006 -  Parkway: Public has its say But a minority report - two, actually - also issued by citizen team
After two years of public input, planning for the proposed Orange Route bypass has officially returned to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. All 17 active members of the Knoxville Regional Parkway Design Resource Team on Wednesday signed a seven-page report listing their recommendations for the proposed road. TDOT officials will review the team's recommendations April 12 and then present the report to Commissioner Gerald Nicely for a final decision on the project.

April-4-2006 - Oak Ridger - Road team's last lap

By: John Huotari | Oak Ridger Staff
During the last two years, a group helping to design a new Knoxville bypass highway has spent many hours deciding what would be the best route for the new roadway and determining how many interchanges to include and where. On Wednesday morning, the group is scheduled to meet for a few more hours in what should be their final meeting - at least for now.

March-30-2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Balkers upset parkway team. Some who worked on Orange Route may refuse to sign final report.
After nearly two years of work, some members of the team that cobbled together a path for the controversial Orange Route may refuse to sign off on the group's report.

March-17-2006 - New York Times - Judges Overturn Bush Bid to Ease Pollution Rules
WASHINGTON, March 17 — A federal appeals court on Friday overturned a clean-air regulation issued by the Bush administration that would have let many power plants, refineries and factories avoid installing costly new pollution controls to help offset any increased emissions caused by repairs and replacements of equipment.

March-16-2006 - Metropulse - 2016: The Bypass of the Bypass of the Bypass finally nears completion...."
Cartoon by Elizabeth Bricquet

March-12-2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Venable: Either way, we're really gonna pay
"...let me ask an irate question that falls under the category of Taking Leave of Our Senses:
Why in the world have we allowed state government to start the process of building a mega-million-dollar thoroughfare that'll be outdated before it is finished, and city government to subcontract its official police duties?"

March-7-2006 - Oak Ridger - It's all in the presentation
As I looked at the maps pasted across the newsroom office walls, I wondered just where in the heck is this proposed new I-475 bypass going to be located. The sheets of paper were taped together depicting an aerial view of zigzagging lines representing a four-lane highway connecting Interstate 75/40 to I-75 just east of Clinton.

March-2-2006 - Nashville Scene - One-Way Lawmaking Road contractors are trying to sneak an expensive entitlement bill through the General Assembly
by Christine Kreyling
Among the flotsam and jetsam floating around the halls of the Tennessee General Assembly is the draft of a bill that insiders call the “Get Nicely” bill. The “Act to Amend the Tennessee Code Annotated, Titles 3, 4 and 54 relative to transportation” bears no official sponsor. But the intention of its provisions is clear: to give the legislature more control over the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) at the expense of TDOT commissioner Gerald Nicely, and to return the department to its old Roads-R-Us monoculture.

February-24-2006 - Oak Ridger - Mixed reaction for Knoxville Parkway
By: by John Huotari
CLAXTON - Officials at a public workshop on Thursday said they heard mixed reactions to a proposed parkway that would link Interstate 75 in Anderson and Loudon counties, bypassing west Knoxville and coming within a few miles of Oak Ridge.

February-24-2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel -   Residents want parkway access
Saving Spring Hill Saltpeter Cave, noise pollution, losing acreage and pushing for an interchange at Raccoon Valley Road were the highlighted concerns at a Thursday night meeting to review plans for the proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway.
Most of the people who attended the public workshop expressed frustration with the Tennessee Department of Transportation putting a road through their land but said if it's going to happen, then they want access to the roadway.

February-23-2006 - Oak Ridger - TDOT team in Claxton to present bypass route
By: John Huotari | Oak Ridger Staff
A new western Knoxville bypass route was first proposed more than 30 years ago and has, at times, been controversial.

February-22-2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Parkway workshop crowd unsupportive
One attendee calls whole public meeting 'a farce.'A former state representative deemed a Tuesday night public meeting to review plans for the proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway "a farce."
"All these meetings are a farce," said H.E. Bittle, who represented Knoxville when the parkway was under study in the 1990s. "They're doing this to cool people off."<>

February-22-2006 - WBIR - TDOT's proposed "Orange Route" generates discussion
At a public hearing Tuesday night, TDOT leaders and citizens met to discuss the Orange Route.
TDOT's Travis Brickey said, "We need to look at all other routes to try to have a safety valve, a release valve for some of that traffic to get around town."
But many people are not satisfied with the future plans. Mark W. Richey, a parkway opponent said, "The money's better spent on safer roads, on roads that need improvement, on finishing the roads they've started downtown and get through that bottleneck."

February-21-2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel Editorial - Keep exits limited for new parkway
There's no point in reinventing the wheel with respect to the proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway. In fact, we recommend moving on rather than revisiting the issue of exits - and the route - of the 26.5-mile road aimed at linking Interstate 75 in Loudon with I-75 in Anderson County near Wolf Valley Road.

February-14-06 Knoxville news Sentinel - Residents have reservations at first workshop on Knoxville Regional Parkway
By ANN HINCH, Special to the News Sentinel
LENOIR CITY - Heading home from Knox County, Lenoir City resident Pete Studer takes care with traffic merging onto westbound Interstates 40/75 from Watt Road. "There's traffic that has to fight toward 75 now from that ramp," he pointed out Monday, fishtailing his hand to illustrate crossing lanes. "You're going to get traffic that will have to fight to get over there for 40, too."

February-17-06 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Critics assail plans for parkway -  Knoxville regional route is subject of hearing
While many opponents of the proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway contend that the route was selected to promote business development, Chuck Holland has a different view. Building the 26.5-mile-long road to link Interstate 75 in Loudon and Anderson counties will drive Holland's business out of state.

Knoxville News Sentinel - Parkway plans gaining steam - Final design coming soon for Knoxville regional route
After nearly two years of sometimes contentious work, a local resource team is one month away from making a final recommendation for the route of the proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway.

December-05-05 USA Today - States boosting highway spending - By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY
State governments are investing huge amounts of money in road construction after several years of modest spending, a change that could ease traffic congestion that has worsened sharply in the past decade.

November-04-05 - Federal Register Vol. 70 No. 213 - [HTML version][PDF version] - The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is issuing this notice to advise the public of its intent to prepare a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for Route 475 (Knoxville Parkway) in Loudon, Knox, and Anderson Counties, Tennessee. This project is intended to improve regional and national transportation needs.

October-14-05 CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - TDOT commissioner says state should consider toll roads - Tennessee Highway Commissioner Gerald Nicely wants the state to consider building toll roads...Nicely said the proposed "Orange Route" beltway around Knoxville would be a good candidate for a public-private partnership.

August-31-05 Knoxville News Sentinel - Beltway interchanges ironed out. Parkway Team agrees to exits at Pellissippi, Clinton By DON JACOBS,
The Knoxville Regional Parkway Resource Team agreed Tuesday that the proposed beltway should have two interchanges - at Pellissippi Parkway and Clinton Highway. In reaching that decision, the group rejected interchanges at Raccoon Valley Road and Oak Ridge Highway. Nine of the 15 team members agreed two interchanges along the proposed 28-mile long parkway would best serve the area.

August-19-05 Knoxville News Sentinel -  Road construction info center opens - By DON JACOBS,
TDOT spokesman says new SmartFIX40 office is 'setting the bar' for nation. State officials on Thursday opened the first community center in the nation where the public can regularly view information about a major road construction project and express concerns to authorities overseeing the work.

July-17-05 - Knoxville News Sentinel -  Lawmakers urge limits on eminent domain rule
Owners of seized land would get 3 times value By TOM HUMPHREY, Inspired by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, state legislators are lining up to crusade for new restrictions on governmental authority to take private property.

July-13-05 Knoxville News Sentinel - Gov. Bredesen, listen to science - not politics - please By TIMOTHY JOSEPH 865-927-3584 or
I read Don Jacobs' Parkway article in the July 1 edition of the News Sentinel (Page B1). Though bothered, I simply shook my head in dismay because people seem to think they can't do anything, when there is still the opportunity for the governor to change the proposed route.

July-01-05 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Residents decry proposed parkway route
"It makes me angry," Eric Depew said. "It certainly doesn't serve the purpose of a bypass; it's too close in to Knoxville. I think businesses had more political pull on the road than the people did.

June-24-05 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Eminent domain is cities' right
High court says property seizure for economic development OK - By HOPE YEN, Associated Press
Thursday in the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 5-4 ruling, the court said cities have broad power to bulldoze people's homes to make way for shopping malls or other private development to generate tax revenue. The decision drew a scathing dissent from Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as favoring rich corporations. As a result of the ruling, homeowners will have more limited rights. Click here to read the decision.

June-17-05 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Are we ready for another interstate?
Knoxville is about to endure many months of construction on Interstate 40 through downtown, along with the major frustrations and disruption of traffic patterns that will accompany it. Now comes news of the possibility of another interstate highway hitting Knoxville and connecting with the Georgia coast. Interstate 3 is more than a lofty concept. It is heavily on the minds of a number of Georgia lawmakers who are asking for a feasibility study of two routes: I-3 from Knoxville to Savannah, Ga., and I-14 from Augusta, Ga., west through Alabama to Natchez, Miss., on the Mississippi River.

June-04-05 - Daily Times - Concept would build I-3 to U.S. 129 by Lesli Bales-Sherrod
Money to study an interstate highway connecting Knoxville to Savannah, Ga., via Blount County is included in a federal transportation bill being hammered out now in a conference between the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Sponsors in both chambers are proposing a route that would follow U.S. 129 from the Tennessee-North Carolina line to the Pellissippi Parkway. No further details of the route were available.

April-06-05 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Timothy Joseph 865-927-3584 or
In News Sentinel reporter Don Jacobs' March 27 article "Miles To Go" regarding the Knoxville Regional Parkway conflict, one of the 19-member Resource Team was quoted as saying, "those who are not committed to the mission statement should respectfully resign." No! Don't resign. Open your eyes please. The mission is the very core of the controversy. ... Politics, economics and personal gain swung their swords and now people say resign if you don't agree with an altered mission. How sad and unfair is that?

Mar-29-05 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Clean air shouldn't be considered a luxury
It's hard to argue with clean air. Having it is taken for granted, but not having it is a travesty.

Mar-27-05 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Miles to Go BY Don Jacobs
Welcome to the world of public involvement formulating the path and design of a major and controversial road project. Since April 2004, 19 people have been meeting as part of an abbreviated version of the Context Sensitive Solutions concept applied to the proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway. If built, the road, formerly called the Orange Route, will be designated State Route 475.

Mar-16-05 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Karns commissioner tackles issues By TIMOTHY JOSEPH
[Commissioner Larry] Stephens ... is on record as opposing [the Orange Route] and he's still much against the location.   "It's not a bypass, which is what we were sold on, and it will have a tremendous  negative impact to the Hardin Valley/ Solway area."

Feb-23-05 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Commissioners ready and willing to help you  By TIMOTHY JOSEPH
My first question to Cawood was about the Orange Route bypass, (now called The Knoxville Parkway). Cawood is solidly against it because he understands it will not accomplish what a bypass should.

Feb-17-05 - WBIR - New study: Knoxville is 'asthma capital' By Katie Allison Granju, Web Producer
A new study from the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America is
calling Knoxville the asthma capital in the U.S. for 2005. Link to AAF.

Feb-14-05 - Nashville City paper - Road money in jeopardy By Judith R. Tackett,
Tennessee road projects will be cut significantly next year if Congress does not pass a new transportation bill at a funding level of $284 billion over six years.

Feb-13-05 - Knoxville news Sentinel - Yes: Cleaner cars mean cleaner air for our children By VALERIE TRUE
Children in Knoxville breathe some of the dirtiest air in the nation. According to the American Lung Association, our small city ranks eighth in the nation for ozone air pollution and 12th in the nation for fine particle pollution. Knox County has failed to meet minimal health standards for air quality set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for both ozone and fine particle pollution, standards that many scientists feel are still not protective enough.

Feb-6-05 - Knoxville news Sentinel - Planning should begin with blank sheet of paper By ROBERT SHAW
Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely's community involvement intentions are good, but his implementation needs some refinement...[T]he community team, known as the Parkway Resource Team, has only been tasked with putting some finishing touches on a specific 1,000-foot-wide corridor that was previously selected by TDOT. That is hardly involvement before major decisions are made. That is not allowing the team to decide how best to apply CSS principles to the parkway project. That is simply going through the motions.

Dec-13-04 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Knoxville beltway benefits overstated By MARK RICHEY
This is in response to the Perspective article "Moving the masses" in the News Sentinel Nov. 28. Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely continues to overstate the benefits of the proposed Knoxville beltway and ignores the pending transportation crisis facing the West Knoxville Interstate-40/75 corridor. Nicely specifically cited the I-40/75 Papermill Drive interchange as a trouble spot. The commissioner has, however, ignored TDOT's own beltway draft environmental impact statement that estimates, at best, the beltway would decrease I-40/75 traffic at Papermill Drive by only 9 percent.

Dec-14-04 - USA Today - Particulate pollution respects no city limits By Traci Watson
BALTIMORE — High above a busy downtown street, $200,000 worth of equipment sniffs the air, searching for a deadly form of pollution called fine particulate...Baltimore is not alone in having a particulate problem. On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency said that 62 million people live in communities where particulate levels rose to unhealthy levels at least once in 2003.

Dec-8-04 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Pollution problems plague priority road projects By DON JACOBS
State and local elected officials met Tuesday with transportation planners to review priority road projects, but the specter of air pollution standards looms as a potential spoiler to future construction plans. Big rigs and cars are major contributors to air pollution, so much so that state officials are considering speed restrictions on trucks. Each day 28 million vehicle miles are logged in the seven-county area designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as non-attainment areas. Those counties are Knox, Anderson, Blount, Jefferson, Loudon, Sevier and Cocke.

Dec-04 - Wired Magazine - Roads Gone Wild by Hans Monderman
 No street signs. No crosswalks. No accidents.  "The trouble with traffic engineers is that when there's a problem with a road, they always try to add something," Monderman says. "To my mind, it's much better to remove things."

Nov-28-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Thought needed before past mistakes repeated again By ROLAND TERRELL
Whether you are for the new Knoxville Parkway, alias the Orange Beltway, or against it, there are several issues that are likely to impact you. What are some of them?

Nov.-28-04 - Knoxville News Sentinel - Moving the masses Challenge is to make Knoxville Parkway a good neighbor By GERALD NICELY
East Tennesseans are all too familiar with traffic congestion and the negative impact it creates on their lives. Congestion also negatively affects our environment by increasing emissions and wasting fuel. Vehicles in stopand-go traffic emit more pollutants — particularly carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds.

Nov-26-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Rise in ground ozone levels linked to increase in deaths By LEE BOWMAN
A small increase in ground-level ozone levels, but still well below government thresholds, was linked to an increase in deaths the following week in large cities across the country, according to a new study.

Oct-28-04 MetroPulse - Non-Attainment: Knox County air quality fails new EPA standards by Mellisa Elkins
There is an unseen danger in Knox County—one that clouds our vision in a film of smog, causes breathing complications and irritates other respiratory problems. It will also inevitably and indirectly cause increases in utility costs and raise taxes of local businesses.

Oct-24-04 Associated Press - U.S. leaving giant 'eco-footprint' By JONATHAN FOWLER
GENEVA - Humanity's reliance on fossil fuels, the spread of cities, the destruction of natural habitats for farmland and overexploitation of the oceans are destroying Earth's ability to sustain life, the environmental group World Wildlife Fund warned in a new report released last week... Humans consume 20 percent more natural resources than the Earth can produce, the report said.

Oct-13-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Air quality tops list of issues on environment Candidates tackle area problems during forum By SCOTT BARKER
Five candidates for state office agreed at a forum Tuesday that the biggest environmental problem facing the Knoxville area is air quality, but others pointed to urban sprawl, illegal polluters and water quality as being top priorities.

27-Sept-04 WebMD - Living in a sprawling suburb [Knoxville is No. 7 on list] may be hazardous to your health.
A new study shows that people who live in areas with a high degree of suburban sprawl [Knoxville is No. 7 on list] are more likely to report chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, arthritis, headaches, and breathing difficulties, than those who live in urban areas.

16_Sept-04 MetroPulse - Wall to Wall Sprawl: Density arrives out there in the ’burbs by Matt Edens
... the state seems intent on railroading, so to speak, a new interstate bypass through Hardin Valley that’ll open up more land to development.

14-Sept-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - 60 join TDOT at meeting to discuss state's 25-year road plan By DON JACOBS
Some were concerned [that] developers were burdening already overwhelmed roads.

2-September-04 MetroPulse - Ready for Sprawl II? You ain’t seen nothing yet by Frank Cagle
Jobs at the Department of Energy facilities in Oak Ridge began the urban sprawl in West Knox County. Then the assembly line of developable farmland, real estate agents, title companies and mortgage companies accelerated the trend. Retail followed the population shift. The result: nowadays, if you are a newcomer to the area, you have to try hard not to settle in West or Northwest Knox County.

1-Sept-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Last Parkway meet held [more will be held in the future]
Residents coming to terms with possible destruction of dream homes as
road is built by DON JACOBS

31-Aug-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Public pooh-poohs parkway
About 550 arrive at public meeting to peruse maps, voice support, objections by DON JACOBS
About 550 people turned out Monday night to review the proposed corridor for the Knoxville Parkway, and few came as cheerleaders.

18-Aug-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Group calls for lower emission caps: Rule as it stands won't help Knox achieve compliance, says Environmentcl Defense
Knoxville and other smoggy cities likely will remain out of compliance with new federal particulate matter standards even if federal regulators approve a proposal to reduce harmful power plant emissions, prompting a leading environmental group to call for lower emission caps.

18-Aug-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Parkway plan divides family near its path
The Todd residence atop a ridge in Claxton is a house divided when it comes to the proposed Knoxville

17-Aug-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Parkway predicament: Residents vent frustration with TDOT's indecision over state Route 475 plan
Cheryl Travis and her husband spent $10,000 just for the plans for the home of their dreams, but they now face the prospect that the 6,000-square-foot home will never become reality.

15-Aug-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Parkway opinions wanted: Design of highway will not be decided without public input
The public this month will get its first shot at configuring the Knoxville Regional Parkway that will slash across three counties in hopes of diverting traffic from the city. "I'd like to see the turnout measured in hundreds rather than tens," said Robert Shaw, a Claxton resident who is on the Regional Parkway Design Resource Team.

25-July-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Georgia looking at interstate to Tennessee - SCROLL DOWN TO END OF ARTICLE
ATLANTA - Lawmakers from Georgia want the U.S. Department of Transportation to look into building two new interstate highways that would cross the state, one from Savannah to Knoxville and another from Augusta through Macon and Columbus. Six members of the House delegation from Georgia introduced legislation authored by Rep. Max Burns, while companion legislation was introduced by Sens. Zell Miller and Saxby Chambliss.

12-July-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Environmental horsepower
The Knoxville metropolitan area has the ninth-worst urban ozone air pollution in the country, according to the American Lung Association - the fifth consecutive year that Knoxville has been recognized for its bad air. Knox County was listed as the 15th worst county for annual particle pollution

04-July-04 Knoxville News Sentinel EPA targets other part of region's pollution
East Tennessee received more bad news about its air pollution last week when federal officials identified nine counties that likely will be found to be violating air standards for soot.  Soot, also called fine particles, can aggravate lung or heart disease and cause premature death. It comes from combustion from power plants, motor vehicles, wood burning and certain industrial processes.

29-May-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Highway contracts probe reminder of Blanton years
The wheels of justice are grinding exceedingly slow, but well into the second year of Gov. Phil Bredesen's term, the first former member of the Sundquist administration has been found guilty in a federal investigation of state contracts. Meanwhile, a potential scandal is breaking out involving state highway contracts during the Sundquist years.

25-May-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Will air sanctions present roadblock for paving projects?
Noncompliant construction could lose federal funds - In addition to the possible impact on economic development in East Tennessee, another potential casualty of being designated a federal non-attainment area for ozone pollution is road construction, officials say. One of the first sanctions that kicked in with the non-attainment designation was a new hurdle to road construction that requires all projects receiving federal highway dollars to conform to regulations that will be handed down next month by the EPA, according to Jeff Welch, director of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization.


Commentary by Knox County Mayor, Mike Ragsdale

25-May-04 Nashville Tennessean - State orders investigation of road bids
The state attorney general has launched a criminal investigation into Tennessee's road-building industry as a result of ''suspicious bidding patterns'' by road construction companies...

24-May-04 WBIR - A CALL TO ACTION: CAUSES OF DIRTY AIR ARE CLEAR; SOLUTIONS ARE WITHIN OUR REACH The headlines are unremittingly bad. Once again, East Tennessee’s air has been determined to be among the dirtiest in the nation.

23-May-04 Knoxville News Sentinel -- The Danger Zone
Without widespread recognition and regional cooperation, further failure to meet the federal ozone standard is inevitable, putting the Knox County area in the Danger Zone.

29-April-04 Knoxville News Sentinel - Knox area recognized for bad air — again
Lung association includes Knoxville in its report for fifth consecutive year. Yet again, Knoxville and its environs have been named as some of the most polluted chunks of real estate in the country by a national study aimed at identifying threats to public health.

29-April-04 Printed Parkway maps are available at the Karns (Hardin-Valley) Volunteer Fire department next to Sim's market on Hardin Valley Road near Steele Rd.

05-April-04 The first Regional Parkway Design Resource Team meeting was held on April 5, 2004 at the Holiday Inn Select, 304 Cedar Bluff Road, Exit 378. At the meeting, the name was changed from "Knoxville Beltway" or Orange Route" to "Knoxville Parkway."

30-Mar-04 - CABOL Members Meeting
Meeting for general membership in the Goins Cafeteria at Pellissippi State Technical Community College.

29-Mar-04 - Property owners' comments spur TDOT investigation.
Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely ordered an investigation into complaints from business owners whose properties are needed for road construction downtown.

29-Mar-04 - Dealing with new TDOT, TDEC pact.
An agreement between two state departments concerning roads and the environment could have a long-lasting impact on the future of transportation and the quality of life for Tennesseans

8-Mar-04 - TDOT lays out plan for I-40 makeover
State officials announced an aggressive four-year completion schedule Monday for the expected $160 million renovation of downtown's Interstate 40, which will close nearly a mile of the route for 14 months while redirecting traffic to Interstate 640.

2-Mar-04 - Letter from the Mark Richey, President CABOL
Letter summarizes CABOL's current positin on the Beltway and TDOT's Context Sensitive Solutions process.

30-Jan-04 - TDOT Media Advisory: Preliminary Work Begins on Knoxville Beltway Project
Nashville, Tenn.--In an effort to begin moving forward on the Knoxville Beltway project, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will be conducting some preliminary site research work in Knox County and surrounding areas impacted by the selected corridor.