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sunrisese

Chattanooga Corridor K..

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There was an article in the TimesFree Press today about corridor K. North Carolina is going to finish their last 27 mile stretch of Corridor K for $807.8 Million. A 14 mile stretch from Andrews to Robbinsville, within the 27 mile part, is similar to the Ocoee portion in TN. TDOT officials have stated that the Ocoee part could cost between $1.2 billion to $2.5 billion, with TN providing a 20% match. Polk County says that those estimates are too high and that there is an alternate route that would cost $686 million to build. Rep Wamp was glad to hear the lower figure, and mentioned that Toyota has asked about highway access to the East, and that the reply was there is none. Rep Wamp also said that road supporters need to band together now because environmentalists opposed to the project will be organized and import people from Timbuktu to stop this thing.

I hope this eventually gets built along with better access to Huntsville.

:offtopic: It would also be a great if future "I-3" became an extension of "I-24" to Augusta, GA then Savannah, GA, rather than terminating in Knoxville. Knoxville already has good interstate access to the east via I-40, and the coast via I-26. Traffic from Chattanooga currently has to go thorough Knoxville/Asheville or Atlanta.

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There was an article in the TimesFree Press today about corridor K. North Carolina is going to finish their last 27 mile stretch of Corridor K for $807.8 Million. A 14 mile stretch from Andrews to Robbinsville, within the 27 mile part, is similar to the Ocoee portion in TN. TDOT officials have stated that the Ocoee part could cost between $1.2 billion to $2.5 billion, with TN providing a 20% match. Polk County says that those estimates are too high and that there is an alternate route that would cost $686 million to build. Rep Wamp was glad to hear the lower figure, and mentioned that Toyota has asked about highway access to the East, and that the reply was there is none. Rep Wamp also said that road supporters need to band together now because environmentalists opposed to the project will be organized and import people from Timbuktu to stop this thing.

I hope this eventually gets built along with better access to Huntsville.

:offtopic: It would also be a great if future "I-3" became an extension of "I-24" to Augusta, GA then Savannah, GA, rather than terminating in Knoxville. Knoxville already has good interstate access to the east via I-40, and the coast via I-26. Traffic from Chattanooga currently has to go thorough Knoxville/Asheville or Atlanta.

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I drive this route every day working in Cleveland and living in Copperhill. While the drive can be a lot of fun it can also be quite frustrating with the many tractor trailers that travel through there daily. I hope to see more progress on this issue soon. I attended the last public meetings which were held back in 2004. The reduction in cost would be a huge shot in the arm for this project. Cost has been the major issue to this point more so than the environmental scares.

One thing mentioned in the paper I was reading today said the Cherokee National Forest is looking to increase the attention the area is getting from tourists. The Forest Service is looking to help the economy by applying for $1 million to upgrade the signage in and around the national forest area to help with both looks and navigation for visitors.

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I drive this route every day working in Cleveland and living in Copperhill. While the drive can be a lot of fun it can also be quite frustrating with the many tractor trailers that travel through there daily. I hope to see more progress on this issue soon. I attended the last public meetings which were held back in 2004. The reduction in cost would be a huge shot in the arm for this project. Cost has been the major issue to this point more so than the environmental scares.

One thing mentioned in the paper I was reading today said the Cherokee National Forest is looking to increase the attention the area is getting from tourists. The Forest Service is looking to help the economy by applying for $1 million to upgrade the signage in and around the national forest area to help with both looks and navigation for visitors.

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I used to travel that road a lot when I was doing a lot of work in Blairsville, GA a while back. I'll never forget getting held up while driving through the gorge because two tractor trailer rigs met going around one of those tight turns next to a rock cut and got literally wedged together. It took a couple of hours to get them apart. If I were a trucker that travels frequently though there, I'd be campaigning as hard as I could for that road.

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The signage was upgraded like you said with one mile warnings plus close warnings as you approach the worst curve. Two other recent upgrades included taking back the steep wall of the bad curve just west of the rafting put in at the stick dam and the adjustment of the vertical curve in another curve just west of That location where a semi carrying flower tipped over a couple of years ago.

The TDOT 2006 ADT counts just came out and show around 4,500 cars a day through the gorge. Of course they do their counts during the week not during the summer tourist rush.

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I made this map to show everyone the trouble spots along Hwy 64 around the Ocoee River. I marked all the TVA facilities as well as the trouble curves and the rafting in and out locations. You should also notice Parksville Lake to the west and the Olympic Whitewater Center to the east. The total distance from the end of Parksville Lake to the Olympic Whitewater Center is right at 10 road miles.

ocoee_gorge.jpg

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http://www.stopi-3.org/

Representative Wamp and Denny Mobbs support the Corridor K project only because they are politicians and both have their own political agendas.

Mobbs has suggested running a section of this 4 lane road across a section of the Cherokee National Forest known as the "Kimsey Mountain Road"

which is also known as "State Forest road 68". This forest road goes right down the middle of the Cherokee National Forest and Little Frog Mountain Preserve, what a crazy idea......running a four lane type interstate highway right down the spine of a public National Forest and National Preserve.

These so called politicians in the name of progress don't care what they do to a pristine forest as long as their political agendas are meet. Come on people these guys are true blue politicians and Mobbs is a lawyer......enough said!!!!

Corridor K was a bad idea to start with, the "no build" proposal is the best resolution for Polk County Tennessee, leave well enough alone!

Stop I3 and Corridor K now.

Ocoeerunner

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Thanks for making that great map for us Habenero. For someone like me not from the region if helped a lot to give me a image of what sort of issues we are talking about here.

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This route is necessary to be built. It will be helpful for outdoor enthusiasts to get to wonderful things these scenic areas quicker, and provide an alternative to getting to Chattanooga more directly. I look forward to it becoming reality.

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I completely disagree that this road is necessary, raping a National Forest in the name of progress and for "pork barrel" political agendas is a gigantic waste of tax payers money. Any type of four lane highway through this pristine forest will not only devastate the forest but will ruin the Ocoee River.

The no build proposal is what is best for Polk County Tennessee and most residents from this area are dead against this project.

Ocoeerunner

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Interstate 40 and US 441 were routes built through pristine national forests. Do you also them wastes of money?

Countless studies have been conducted why the road is needed and why the chosen route has the least environmental impact. Lobbyist groups, including liberal environmentalists, want this and that done casuing pork barrel spending because of unnecessary things like stalling the legal processes.

You can cruise around in your eight passenger gas guzzling SUV dangerously speeding on curvy mountainess roads. We outdoor enthusiasts can drive our electric hybrids on safe scenic four lane byways to quickly access our beloved national forests and parks to pursue our ecofriendly acitivities.

Polk County is soundly in favor of the road being built so more people can access the area for fun whitewater rafting.

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Polk County is soundly in favor of the road being built so more people can access the area for fun whitewater rafting.

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Not everyone in the area is for this project like some of you proclaim in the name of progress at any cost. There is a fellow by the name of Clyde Holler who has a weekly news letter who resides in Blue Ridge Georgia who has added an article about Corridor K and the Ocoee River. I agree with his statements that TDOT should do some minor modifications of highway 64 and not turn it in to a four lane type highway. Visit the link below to see for your self. Corridor K was a bad idea to start with, the "no build" proposal is the best resolution for Polk County Tennessee, leave well enough alone!

http://www.clydeholler.com/newsletter.html

Ocoeerunner

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I agree with his statements that TDOT should do some minor modifications of highway 64

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I remember hearing something about lots of trouble with the cliffs around some of the worst curves and the difficulty it would present trying to blast them back to allow the curve to be wide enough for safe passage.

Back a few years ago I was in Greece and they were working on this highway that runs from Athens over toward Corinth. The road follows along the cliffs and was quite curvy in places. Also this was a 4 lane that I think they were wanting to bring up to something more along the lines of an interstate type design. One of the things they were working to do was tunnel into the base of the cliffs before the curves and cliffs to basically straighten out the road using the tunnel to get it done. Below I attached a picture from Google Earth that shows one of the tunnel projects under way.

tunnel.jpg

tunnel_3d.jpg

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I remember a few years back dring through the gorge behind a tractor trailer rig. Or course, the very tight turns through the gorge are difficult to negotiate with big trucks and they have to be extremely careful when going around the "blind" curves that have nearly verticle rocky cliffs right up to the edge of the highway. Well, on that day the truck in front of me met another big truck travelling in the opposite direction right in the middle of one of the tighest curves on the whole route. Guess what! They ended up getting wedged together as the truck on the inside of the turn was literally scraping the rock cliff on one side and the other truck on the other side. They were in a big mess, and the took over an hour to get themselves extricated. It was an amazing sight, and what I gathered from the whole incident was that this road is totally inadequate to serve as the main route across the Appalachian mountains between Knoxville and Atlanta. This road needs to be improved, and it's construction over time will leave no scars on the environment or forest, in my opinion. The few scars that will result from it's construction will quickly be healed by the mighty hand of nature.

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I remember a few years back during through the gorge behind a tractor trailer rig. Or course, the very tight turns through the gorge are difficult to negotiate with big trucks and they have to be extremely careful when going around the "blind" curves that have nearly vertical rocky cliffs right up to the edge of the highway. Well, on that day the truck in front of me met another big truck traveling in the opposite direction right in the middle of one of the tightest curves on the whole route. Guess what! They ended up getting wedged together as the truck on the inside of the turn was literally scraping the rock cliff on one side and the other truck on the other side. They were in a big mess, and it took over an hour to get them extricated. It was an amazing sight, and what I gathered from the whole incident was that this road is totally inadequate to serve as the main route across the Appalachian Mountains between Knoxville and Atlanta. This road needs to be improved, and its construction over time will leave no scars on the environment or forest, in my opinion. The few scars that will result from its construction will quickly be healed by the mighty hand of nature.

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I've been caught behind very similar situations before. One specific one I remember was a charter bus and a semi. The charter bus was headed west toward Cleveland and the Semi was headed east toward Ducktown. The two met in the tightest turn which ended up pinning the charter bus against the rock wall. Needless to say the road was closed for a couple of hours.

Another incident I remember didn

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If you are a resident in the copper basin area and you needed medical attention there are 2 hospitals less than 5 miles apart from each other. The first being located on 68 in Ducktown/Copperhill area. The second one is just a little south on highway 5 in McCaysville. There would be no need to travel west on 64 towards Cleveland. Likewise if you lived in the Cleveland area I am sure you would not travel east along 64, there are hospitals in Cleveland.

I am not saying 64 isn't dangerous, it is. I too have had a close call on that one turn that is so tight a 18 wheeler making the turn was straddling the center line and almost hit me head on. All I am saying is lets make some minor fixes to 64 and not spend BILLIONS of tax payer money to devastate the Cherokee National Forest and Little Frog Mountain Wilderness. This area is so pristine and beautiful and needs to remain that way for all generations to come.

Ocoeerunner

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Not to ramble off the subject but the hospital transport deal does happen quite often. The Copper Basin Medical Center and Fannin Regional Down on Hwy 5 are not very comprehensive if their levels of acute care. I see ambulances many times during the week taking folks to Cleveland and Chattanooga for treatment from the Basin area. Of course if there is a dire emergency the will send a helicopter to pick up the patient, but that

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