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State Route 162 (Pellissippi Parkway Extension)

Federal Highway Administration approved a NEPA Reevaluation of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on July 17, 2014.  This document was prepared pursuant to 23 CFR 771 because of the passage of the three years since approval of the DEIS. TDOT and FHWA are not seeking comments.

The findings of the Reevaluation are that the changes to the alternatives considered in the DEIS as well as modifications to the Preferred Alternative would not result in significant environmental impacts that were not evaluated in the DEIS.  Therefore, a supplement to the approved 2010 DEIS or a new DEIS is not required.   View documents


Project Description

TDOT, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is proposing to extend and construct Pellissippi Parkway (SR 162) from its current terminus at SR 33 (Old Knoxville Highway) to SR 73 (US 321 or Lamar Alexander Highway) in Blount County. The length of the proposed extension would be approximately 4.4 miles. TDOT and FHWA are preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to identify and evaluate the environmental effects of the proposed project and to identify measures to minimize harm.

The proposed action is intended to address the following transportation needs in the study area:

  • Limited mobility options in Blount County and Maryville due to the primarily radial roadway network that now exists.
  • Poor local road network with substandard cross sections.
  • Lack of a northwest/east connection east of Alcoa and Maryville to help serve:
    • Expanding residential development occurring in eastern Alcoa and Maryville and northern Blount County; and
    • Increasing demand for trips between Maryville and Alcoa and the Knoxville area to the north.
  • Safety issues on roadways in the area, including roads in the Maryville core that through travelers between north and western portions of the county and the eastern portions of the county must pass. Numerous rear-end crashes and angle crashes have been reported due to high volumes of traffic and lack of access management along the roadways.
  • Traffic congestion and poor levels of service on the major arterial roads in the study area (US 129, SR 33, US 411 and US 321).

The core transportation objectives of the proposed action are:

  • Enhance regional transportation system linkages.
  • Improve circumferential mobility by providing travel options to the existing radial roadway. network in Blount County, Maryville, and Alcoa.
  • Improve roadway safety on the existing roadway network, including the Maryville core.
  • Achieve acceptable traffic flows (level of service) on the transportation network or not adversely. affect traffic flows on the existing network.

Additional objectives of the proposed action include:

  • Support community and growth management goals.
  • Minimize adverse impacts to neighborhoods and businesses, farmlands, and the natural and cultural environment.

The Pellissippi Parkway Extension was one of six Bicentennial Parkways included in Tennessee’s 1986 Urgent Highway Needs Plan. The plan described this project as a 19.5-mile extension of Pellissippi Parkway from I-40 in western Knox County to US 321 in eastern Blount County. Pellissippi Parkway between I-40/75 and SR 33 was designed and built in four sections between 1987 and 2005. The extension of Pellissippi Parkway from SR 33 to US 321 was included in the Knoxville Urban Area Transportation Planning Organization’s (TPO) 1995 Update of the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), and has been included in subsequent updates of the LRTP. The 1998 Federal Transportation Equity Act for the 21 Century or TEA-21 included the extension of Pellissippi Parkway between SR 33 and US 321 in the High Priority Projects Program.

The DEIS evaluated the following alternatives:  No-Build; Build Alternatives A and C - extend Pellissippi Parkway as a new four-lane divided roadway with interchanges at SR-33, SR-35/US411, and SR-73/US 321; and Build Alternative D - upgrade existing two-lane network to connect SR-33 with SR-73/US 321. Alternative A was selected as the Preferred Alternative by TDOT in May 2012. TDOT modified the alignment to avoid potential archaeological resources in July 2013.

Alternatives previously considered but dismissed were public transit, transportation system management (TSM) activities, improve currently deficient local roads, and a new four-lane divided roadway corridor closer to the Little River.