published Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Cleveland, Tenn., officials: Connection to APD 40 nears completion

Jonathan Jobe, director of Cleveland's development & engineering services department. Contributed by Paul Leach.
Jonathan Jobe, director of Cleveland's development & engineering services department. Contributed by Paul Leach.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- A Tennessee Department of Transportation project to connect Harriman Road with APD 40 near Exit 20 on Interstate 75 is nearing completion, Cleveland officials said Monday.

Improvements to runoff control measures, which include the installation of concrete ditches, are on track to be completed by Oct. 25, said Jonathan Jobe, director of the city's Engineering and Development Department. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has given the city a deadline of Nov. 6 to make the improvements.

The west side concrete ditch is 100 percent complete, and the east side ditch is 30 percent complete, Jobe said.

Jobe said he had hoped the work would be completed sooner, but the contractor has committed only to 45-hour work weeks. The actual paving will take only two days, he said.

The corrective efforts are intended to minimize the project's impact on the near-pristine Brymer Creek, located within the nearby McDonald community.

McDonald residents have expressed concerns over the environmental impact of the road extension and a planned industrial park that will use Harriman Road to gain easy access to I-75.

Members of the McDonald community have voiced dismay over muddy pollutants that have flowed into Brymer Creek, associating the runoff with the Harriman Road project and with property located on the western side of I-75.

TDEC has granted a number of extensions for finalizing runoff protections for the project.

However, work essentially came to a halt over the summer during the remedial process, which required local and state approval of $800,000 in cost overruns associated with the project. The overruns are expected to be offset by cost savings to a companion interstate connector project planned for the north side of APD 40, city officials said.

Both projects were originally budgeted at $4 million apiece, with the state providing 50 percent funding and Cleveland and Bradley County each contributing 25 percent.

A proposed redesign of the ditch work may yield $4,000 in savings by shaving 147 linear feet of concrete off the project, City Manager Janice Casteel said.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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