Some traffic delays due to paving projects in Kingsport

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - A drive through parts of Kingsport will cause you some delay but then it will become a lot smoother.

The biggest project right now is on Center Street.

It's being called the summer of paving in Kingsport. That's because just about everywhere you look, some type of paving is going on, which will be a positive thing for some bike riders in the city when the bike paths expand. "There are a lot of bike rider and there is getting to be more and more families ride bikes," says biker rider Carol Potter.

Carl Bradford is excited about the expansion too because he says riding a bike is more than just exercise for him. "And health reasons, because I have high blood pressure. Bike riding keeps it down. I don't have to take any medication," he said.

Kingsport Public Works Director Ryan McReynolds says now TDOT is working on re-paving Center Street, Lynn Garden, and Stone Drive.

While they are paving, the city is taking the opportunity to add bike lanes. "What we are trying to do is connect communities with businesses, with restaurants, those types of things using the Green Belt as the spin," says McReynolds.

McReynolds says TDOT will lay down around 9 miles of asphalt this summer.

Paving on Center Street and Lynn Darden are now underway after a delay. "It only received one bid, so they came back and rolled it in with Stone Drive. When you combined all of those it's a very large project and it attracted more than one bidder," he said.

McReynolds says if it wasn't for the slight holdup last year, a lot of TDOT's paving would have already been completed, and that's just the beginning. "We're moving towards what we call a sustainable paving program, where you would see a 20-25 year mark as a window that roads are repaved," he explained.

McReynolds says all of this will benefit the city and hopes adding additional bike routes will make the city more attractive for families and businesses. "It gets friends together, and I'd like to see more of my friends come out here," adds Potter.

McReynolds says the city is also hoping to push out even more road work for spring starting through bond issues.

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