Submitted by M. Neal on Fri, 05/12/2017 - 08:09

TDOT has announced a public meeting to gather public input on the plans for an Alcoa Highway Bypass, a 6-8 lane road proposed through Alcoa and Rockford.

The City of Alcoa originated in 1918 as the first planned community in the State of Tennessee. A planned community is any community that was carefully planned from its inception. In the original plans, Alcoa, Inc., included one acre of park space for every 100 city inhabitants. In addition, between 1918 and 1924 approximately 300 shade trees were planted along city streets and parks. This type of planning has gone by the wayside.

Please help us out. We do not need a colossal roadway through our communities. The proposed Alcoa Highway bypass will come too close to the treasured Springbrook neighborhood and community park. It will take away the Pine Lakes Golf Course. It will also negatively affect the Northwood, Glenmore Estates, and Cedar Hill neighborhoods as well as five other impacted areas. Very little noise abatement is planned. All of the existing Alcoa Hwy in Knox County and the majority in Blount County is being widened. Why can't the just widen the existing highway in the Alcoa area?

The meeting will be held:
Thursday, May, 18 2017
5 - 7 PM

The meeting location will be held at the Alcoa Public Works building.
725 Universal Street
(off of N. Wright Road/E. Edison Street, just north of Springbrook Road and east of Springbrook Park )
Alcoa, TN 37701

TDOT will take written comments, a court reporter will be available for verbal comments, and you can speak with TDOT representatives.
Reference the Blount County SR-115 (US-129) projects (Alcoa Hwy Bypass) in your comments.

Please attend to express your opinion for NO Alcoa Highway Bypass.


Submitted by M. Neal on Thu, 02/05/2015 - 09:26

TDOT has announced a public meeting to discuss the plans for an Alcoa Highway Bypass, a 6-8 lane road proposed through Alcoa and Rockford.

The meeting will be held:
Thursday, February 12, 2015
5 - 7 PM

*** UPDATE ***
The meeting location has changed/been corrected.
It will be held at the Alcoa Public Works building.
NOT at the Alcoa Municipal Building
in the lunchroom of Alcoa Public Works
725 Universal Street
(off of N. Wright Road/E. Edison Street, just north of Springbrook Road and east of Springbrook Park )
Alcoa, TN 37701

TDOT will take written comments, a court reporter will be available for verbal comments, and you can speak with TDOT representatives.

Please attend to express your opinion for NO Alcoa Highway Bypass.

Anyone with questions regarding the meeting or if you cannot attend, please contact TDOT representatives:
Paul Beebe (
or Mike Russell(
7345 Region Lane
Knoxville, TN 37914
Office Voice - 865-94-2442
Fax - 865-594-2441


Submitted by M. Neal on Wed, 09/18/2013 - 05:20

I have been told "TDOT has 9 times as many projects as funding." Is it now time to make Alcoa Highway safe a top priority?

Submitted by M. Neal on Tue, 03/26/2013 - 10:16

The City of Alcoa and a Chattanooga developer are in a bind since TDOT has elected to review all projects statewide.

In October, 2012, "Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson does not think there will be a problem with the planned Alcoa Parkway."

Schroer is “sharp as a tack,” Johnson said. “He is a former mayor of Franklin and former developer. He knows what roads are needed. There has been more movement with the new administration than the whole eight years with (former Gov. Phil) Bredesen.”

Yesterday it was reported, "TDOT Commissioner John Schroer decided to review all projects statewide." The City of Alcoa has now hired an engineering firm to "look at the current Hunt Road/Alcoa Highway interchange and see what can be done with the existing bridge to make it more functional."

ALCOA, Inc. sold a large plot of land to a private developer for retail/residential development. An existing four-lane road connects to the proposed project. For some reason, no one can figure out how to get people in/out of the development. You know, sort of like Turkey Creek. You access Parkside Drive from Lovell Road or Campbell Station Road (and that's all). For this new development, you can access Hunt Road from Alcoa Highway and Lamar Alexander Parkway (or many roads in between).

Let's hope they review this project (Alcoa Highway Parkway/Bypass) out of existence.

Submitted by M. Neal on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 13:29

Why isn't someone planning for the future as growth continues along Alcoa Highway?

Submitted by M. Neal on Thu, 06/21/2012 - 12:38

The June 21, 2012, Daily Times Op-Ed says, "Light rail to Knox is too logical to be seriously considered."

After discussions with Gary Wynn, a local light rail enthusiast, the Daily Times editorial board thinks using existing railroad lines for light rail to/from Knoxville instead of more, bigger, faster roads is a good idea.

  • Northfolk-Southern branch line a good candidate
  • Less expensive means of transportation
  • A self-supporting transportation authority

We think Wynn’s is a good idea. Once railroad beds are lost, they are never likely to be recovered for that use. We realize that such a simple, practical solution is not likely to be adequately considered. Too many think everything new has to be high tech and high priced until we begin paying for it. Enough money is being spent on development of the old West Plant area to warrant due consideration of light rail for passenger traffic.

Submitted by M. Neal on Wed, 04/11/2012 - 11:54

Twenty-five or so residents of the Springbrook area and Alcoa citizens who felt they would be affected by the Alcoa Road access to the Springbrook community from the new shopping center on Hall Road attended the City of Alcoa Commission meeting Tuesday, April 10, 2012, to express their comments verbally regarding this turn of events.

Eight or more people spoke to the Commission explaining their concerns that this access will bring increased traffic, reduce safety, and take away from the integrity of the community. The applause after some of the speakers indicated the majority in attendance were in agreement that Alcoa Road should not be used as an access point to the Springbrook community.

Submitted by M. Neal on Mon, 03/19/2012 - 12:02

Deadline: Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The City of Alcoa Dept. of Public Works & Engineering held a meeting Thursday, March 15, 2012, for residents to review alternate plans for access from the proposed shopping development on Hall Road. Three plans were displayed, Alt A, Alt B, and Alt C. The City of Alcoa mailed post cards to residents of Springbrook announcing this meeting. In addition, they placed an ad in The Daily Times, which appeared in the Sports section on Sunday, March 11, 2012.

The City of Alcoa handed out forms for the approx. 72 residents able to attend the meeting to fill out indicating which alternate route (A, B, or C) the resident would prefer and had a place for comments.

The City of Alcoa has not informed the approx. 250+ residents who were unable to attend the meeting that they can obtain a form to indicate their preference (or no build) and give comments.

Also, this development doesn't just affect Springbrook residents. It affects all residents that visit the area, specifically the park, and residents in neighboring areas such as the Hall Community.

Please take the time to contact Kenny Wiggins, 865-380-4800, at the Public Works and Engineering Dept. to obtain your form and give some input.

Submitted by R. Neal on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 08:24
Submitted by M. Neal on Mon, 02/06/2012 - 15:05

The Maryville Daily Times reports on February 4, 2012:

Rockford is opposed to the current project plan and is disappointed that there were no public hearings held after the release of the nose abatement study in July 2011, he wrote to Russell.

“We expect to be kept fully informed regarding further developments with this project,” [Rockford Mayor] Koella concluded.

Submitted by M. Neal on Mon, 02/06/2012 - 15:01

The Maryville Daily Times reported on Jan. 21, 2012 the headline, "Environmental document completed for Alcoa Highway bypass."

This seems more like a press release than news. The TDOT FONSI report came out in August, 2011.

Submitted by M. Neal on Tue, 12/27/2011 - 09:53

In a New York Times article it is written that Madrid (Spain) has hidden a six mile stretch of freeway and transformed "a formerly neglected area in the middle of Spain’s capital."

countless tons of granite installed to make paths and fountains; some 8,000 pine trees planted. A new, elegantly simple boathouse has been designed, and a 19th-century complex of brick and glass buildings, including a derelict slaughterhouse and greenhouse, are now being renovated to house art studios and a dance theater.

“When the highway was here, I sat on my sofa and watched television all day,” she [73 year old Pilar López] told me. “Now I feel healthy again because I walk with my friends in the park for hours.”

  • In San Francisco, the Embarcadero Freeway was taken down, which reconnected the city with its now glorious waterfront.
  • In Seoul, the removal of a stretch of highway along the now-revived Gaecheon stream has made room for a five-mile-long recreation area called Cheonggyecheon.
  • In Milwaukee, the destruction of the Park East freeway spur has liberated acres of downtown for parks and neighborhood development.
  • In Boston, the nearly-30-year, bank-busting Big Dig fiasco made Boston a better place by tunneling a downtown highway
  • In New York, city and state officials are inching closer to tearing down the Sheridan Expressway, a mile-and-a-quarter-long gash in the South Bronx connecting the Bruckner and Cross Bronx Expressways, perhaps to replace it with homes, commercial spaces, playgrounds, swimming pools and soccer fields arrayed along the Bronx River.

The City of Alcoa was built with the future in mind. Let's not take a step back by building a five mile gash through the area. Let's continue to progress and look at alternatives, of which there are many.

Submitted by M. Neal on Fri, 09/23/2011 - 07:07

"The TDOT Projects Tours is about traveling across Tennessee with state and local officials and seeing our highway and bridge projects that are helping to add to our great transportation system. We will be meeting with our employees and the public will have an opportunity to sit down with us and tell us what they think. I hope you will join us along the way!"

John Schroer, Commissioner
Tennessee Department of Transportation

Blount County Stop at Maryville Municipal Center.
Sept. 29, 2011, 9:15AM EST.
400 West Broadway Avenue
Maryville, TN 37801

They will be visiting Alcoa Hwy (SR115/US 129) Pellissippi Parkway, West of Cusick Rd to South of Little River.

Knox County Open House Meeting at Farragut Town Hall.
Sept. 29, 2011, 5:30PM EST.
11408 Municipal Center Dr.
Farragut, TN 37934

Refer to the Region 1 PDF file link on the TDOT tours page for details of the tour, including the stops and times.

We were able to get a guest editorial published in the Sept. 3, 2011 Knoxville News Sentinel.

Under the National Environmental Policy Act, FHWA should reject the EA and require a full Environmental Impact Statement. It should include for public comment both the original improvement proposal and the bypass proposal, and the FHWA should give equal consideration to the concerns of all stakeholders, including residents of the affected communities.

Given the economic climate and taxpayer concerns about government spending, local government and state transportation officials would be wise to take a step back and reassess. There is a less expensive alternative with far less community and environmental impact. Finally, the FHWA should be held accountable for enforcing NEPA regulations.

The Daily Times printed my Letter to the Editor today, Sept. 2, 2011.

If the text of the letter is not available because you have not subscribed to their service, see the text of the letter below.


Submitted by M. Neal on Wed, 08/24/2011 - 16:06

Included in the FONSI report are updated Noise Study Results (see Page 29, FONSI-26).

Bottom line: Northwood (West Hunt Road) is the only area that will qualify for noise barriers.

Please, review this information. Once you have read it you will surely want to contact everyone you can to let them know this new bypass should not be built. This is just one reason of many.

There are 9 noise analysis areas: 1) Northwood (West Hunt Raod), 2) Springbrook (East Hunt Road), 3) Payne Avenue residences, 4) Cusick Road and Payne Avenue hotels, 5) Belfour Circle residences, 6) The Days Inn on Alcoa Highway, 7) Cedar Hill neighborhood, nearby mobile homes and apartments, from Cardin Lane to Concord Lane/Tammy Circle 8) Glenmore Estates from Glenmore Drive to Caldwell Lane, and 9) Mimosa Heights area.

If no bypass is built, the study predicts that in 24 years (2035), 10,000-12,000 more cars will travel on the existing Alcoa Highway. They say this could increase the traffic noise by 1 decibel (db).

If the bypass is built, the study predicts that the noise analysis areas will be affected as shown in the following table.

The hotels will not be affected (areas 4 and 6).

They say that the Springbrook neighborhood and park (area 2) would only be affected by an increase of 1 db, at the most. The new road will be positioned right between Springbrook and the existing highway. So much closer but so little affect. Hmmmm. They then have the nerve to say that some of the Springbrook residences will have reduced noise, by up to 8db, because "the new northbound ramp from the SR-115 Bypass to existing SR-115 will be elevated on a fill and will provide significant new shielding from traffic on the SR-115 Bypass and existing SR-115." Wonderful! A huge, elevated interstate ramp close to the neighborhood protects from sound and makes the residents feel so much better. I'm shocked at this analysis. One of Alcoa's most historic and beautiful neighborhoods, including the park, and nobody cares. In addition, the sound levels could reach 66 db, which is a level that could warrant consideration for noise abatement. But, no consideration is given.

Belfour Circle (area 5) and Glenmore Estates residences (area 8) are predicted to have an increase of 2-3 db. But, hey, the sound will be below the 66 db required for noise abatement, 60 to 65 db for Belfour Circle and 55 to 63 db predicted for Glenmore Estates.

Areas 1 (Northwood), 3 (Payne Ave. residences), 7 (Cedar Hill area), and 9 (Mimosa Heights) could have sound increases from 5-7 db. Northwood is predicted to have sound levels from 57-73 db, Payne Ave from 61-65 db, Cedar Hill from 54-67 db, and Mimosa Heights from 56-64. 5-7 db is quite an increase in sound. However, notice that since Payne Avenue and Mimosa Heights do not meet the 66 db criteria, no noise abatement is recommended.

The Cedar Hill area residences will be highly affected by road noise. However, the study states that "a noise barrier for Noise Analysis Area 7 is not feasible because a minimum 5 dB noise reduction cannot be achieved at the impacted residence." Does this mean the road will be so close there is nothing they can do to alleviate the noise?

Northwood is the only winner in this report. But, they too are not winners. There are no guarantees. "A noise barrier for Noise Analysis Area 1 [Northwood] is feasible and reasonable and is "likely" to be constructed as part of the project based on the analysis completed using the conceptual projects plans."

There are so many reasons this road should not be built. The increased noise affecting established neighborhoods is just one.

Submitted by M. Neal on Mon, 08/22/2011 - 11:14

TDOT determined there is a "Finding of No Significant Impact" for the Alcoa Bypass project. Truly amazing.

We can still work with the various stakeholders to try and change this project to be a better fit for the community. For example, fix the existing Alcoa Highway, integrate with other parallel roads (that also need fixes), e.g. Maryville Pike and Sevierville Road.

Then, hopefully, it will be hard to get funding for this project until we can get it changed.

We are just beginning the review process of this 222 page report. The report, dated 8/7/2011, can also be found on TDOT's Relocated Alcoa Highway web page. Please, take a look and give us your input.

Submitted by M. Neal on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:24

For all of you out there concerned with noise, please note that TDOT takes no responsibility.

With regards to a highway project in Nashville's Salemtown,

The $7.5 million construction project that is widening the Rosa Parks Boulevard bridge over I-65] has stripped away rows of trees that residents say once served as a buffer between the gentrifying neighborhood and the interstate. That will leave only a chain-link fence between the homes and the traffic on I-65.

[TDOT's BJ Doughty] recommends Salemtown residents begin initial noise wall discussions with their council member. Councilwoman Erica Gilmore, who represents the area, says she plans to work with neighbors on ideas for noise reduction.

Don't even think that noise abatement will be a real consideration for this project anymore than any other project.

The draft version of the TDOT public hearing meeting transcript includes all citizen input in regard to the option to build a new Alcoa Bypass parallel to the existing Alcoa Highway. After reviewing the documents and analyzing the comments, with some help from a reader, here are some results.

Does it appear there is a coordinated effort by City of Alcoa and local business to push this project?

Ten employees from one local company that is a local producer of construction aggregates submitted comments to TDOT regarding this project.

Does it appear that many of the people supporting this project stand to benefit from the project?

There were 112 attendees at the Nov. 9, 2010 public hearing

  • twenty-three were TDOT employees or sub-contractors
  • fourteen were local government employees; ten from the City of Alcoa
  • fourteen represented various businesses, e.g. Alcoa, Inc., car dealerships, Clayton Bank, Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Board Blount Partnership, as well as The Daily Times and WVLT
  • The remaining sixty-one were citizens where any affiliation was unidentifiable

Of the attendees, twenty-five people spoke and had questions for TDOT. Analysis of the input indicated:

  • eight of the speakers were opposed to a new bypass (two were from the same business)
  • six spoke in favor of the bypass (four of which were business or government)
  • eleven made comments without speaking for or against the bypass

In all, TDOT received input from eighty-one individuals; some spoke at the public hearing or spoke with the meeting recorder and some sent letters or public comment forms to TDOT.

Analysis of the public input indicates the following:

Twenty-three respondents oppose the bypass

  • four of these respondents oppose it as it is currently proposed
  • three were local business owners
  • all but two were Blount County residents or business owners negatively affected by the bypass

Thirty-nine respondents do not oppose the bypass

  • eight (20.5%) were local government officials
  • two were spouses of local government officials
  • one is from an asphalt company
  • eight (20.5%) were from a local producer of construction aggregates: primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel
  • two were involved in commercial real estate development
  • two were owners of multiple car dealerships on Alcoa Highway in Alcoa
  • one is a local business owner
  • sixteen were citizens where any affiliation was unidentifiable, three of these were not from Blount County and six travel Alcoa Highway to work every day
  • thirteen (33.3%) were not Blount County residents and/or do not have a business with a presence in Blount County

Nineteen respondents were not definitive on whether they opposed the bypass or not, they were mostly concerned with safety on Alcoa Highway and noise pollution

  • one is a local government official
  • one represents the Blount County Chamber of Commerce
  • two were from a local producer of construction aggregates: primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel
  • three were local business owners
  • all but three were Blount County residents or business owners that might be negatively affected by the bypass
Submitted by R. Neal on Wed, 03/16/2011 - 15:02

The Federal Highway Administration has announced four proposed routes for the controversial I-3 project to connect Savannah GA to Oak Ridge. One of the routes would connect on this end via U.S. 129 (Alcoa Highway) to I-140.

There is talk that the $50 billion interstate, which is longer than the existing I-95 to I-26 to I-40 route, will provide a direct route for shipping toxic, weapons grade nuclear materials and waste between the DOE's Savannah River Site nuclear weapons facility and ORNL. There doesn't appear to be any other logical explanation or justification for the massive environmental impact that this new, expensive, and unneeded interstate would cause.

Either way, we don't need even more traffic from a new interstate coming through Blount Co., and we don't want traffic carrying radioactive waste.


About this site

The purpose of this site is to provide an online clearinghouse for information about the proposed Alcoa Parkway bypass and to promote public awareness and public participation in the process. We believe that the original proposal to improve the existing Alcoa Highway corridor needs a second look as a viable alternative for correcting safety and capacity problems, and that the public should have more input in selecting the preferred build alternative.

Contact us

Send your comments and suggestions to M. Neal, or R. Neal, You can also mail your comments to Stop Alcoa Parkway, P.O. Box 490, Alcoa TN 37701. To join our mailing list for updates and new developments, please email