West AJ work to change Crescent Center intersection

Changes are being made along West Andrew Johnson Highway as the city of Morristown and the state of Tennessee continue road construction projects from the Crescent Center to the Jefferson County line.

One of the latest changes is taking out an island on West Andrew Johnson Highway that created a turning lane onto Fairmont Avenue. That will be a permanent change, city officials said.

“Instead of a concrete island, it will be a paved island,” Paul Brown, director of the city of Morristown’s Public Works Department, said.

It is part of a city project aimed at improvements from the Crescent Center to West Morris Boulevard. The city is also undertaking changes at the intersection of North Economy Road and West AJ Highway in order to widen North Economy Road, so tractor trailers will have easier access in and out of the area.

Also part of the construction is upgrading sidewalks in the area to provide handicap access and making sure any stormwater issues are addressed.

The cost of the project is estimated to be around $850,000. The state is paying 80% of the cost and the city provided a 20% match.

At the same time, the state is conducting a $4.8 million repaving project from West Morris Boulevard to the Jefferson County line.

As far as the latest changes, Michael Poteet, stormwater coordinator for Morristown, said the small island that created a left turning lane onto Fairmont Avenue was shifted as workers continue to conduct improvements along the road.

It will be replaced by striping, he said.

“It’ll be a little bit different on the layout,” he said.

City officials said the changes came from recommendations from engineers.

In the meantime, the Tennessee Department of Transportation continues its resurfacing project, which will include the replacement of curb ramps in the area. Mark Nagi, spokesman for TDOT, said there will be multiple layers of asphalt placed because of settlement and geotechnical hazards in the area.

He said the project is supposed to be completed by Oct. 30.