Submitted by R. Neal on Wed, 03/09/2011 - 16:55

In response to an open records request, TDOT has provided copies of public comments received during the written comment period following the the Nov. 9th public meeting.

We have posted the entire document here and included a link in the Resources section.

There are some particularly interesting items in the document:

1. The letter to TDOT from Alcoa Inc. outlining their objections to the bypass project as currently proposed. An excerpt:

While we are sensitive to the safety concerns surrounding the current Alcoa Highway, we are not in support of the Bypass Project as presented at the public meeting.

The proposed route presents serious negative impacts to Alcoa Inc. The impacts are numerous and include, but are not limited to, the following facts:

1. More than 240 acres are impacted by the proposed route - affecting at least eight separate Alcoa Inc.-owned parcels. The impact includes the actual right of way necessary for the construction of the Bypass as well as the surrounding land, much of which will be stranded from road access, irregularly shaped, and virtually worthless after the Project is completed.

2. These 240 acres were acquired by Alcoa Tennessee Operations over the years at market value to provide necessary buffer property around the Alcoa North Plant which currently employs almost 800 Tennesseans.

3. Over the years, this land has been dedicated to green space, agricultural uses and most recently as part of a Switch Grass Bio Fuels project, which would not be able to continue once the Project is constructed. The commercial potential of this property is very valuable and important for Alcoa to preserve.

4. Alcoa Inc. property accounts for approximately 45 percent of the project's total affected acreage.

2. A letter to TDOT from the City of Rockford expressing concerns about the project:

The City has received numerous complaints regarding the noise issue due to the project's proximity to the Singleton Station Road and Glenmore Estates residents. It appears that an eight lane super highway will be constructed within a few hundred feet of these residents' front doors.

3. A letter to TDOT from the City of Alcoa requesting several modifications to the proposal presented at the Nov. 9 public meeting. The requested modifications include another realignment to address Alcoa Inc.'s concerns, however the City notes that "the City would not support any changes that would unduly delay the implementation of this project."

This last item is disturbing, because TDOT Environmental Division Director Suzanne Herron told us that the final environmental document was nearing submission to FHWA for approval and no more public hearings were planned. If major modifications are made, a new EA should be prepared and a new round of public meetings should be held.

Actually, it is our position that a full Environmental Impact Statement should be prepared, and that it should include the original proposal to improve the existing corridor as a build alternative, and public meetings should be held on the EIS.

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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, mneal@rviews.com or R. Neal, rneal@rviews.com. 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 mneal@rviews.com.