JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. - It can be a bumper-to-bumper bottleneck. The Highway 11E-State Route 354 intersection is one of the busiest in Washington County.
Jonesborough town leaders including Bob Browning have been busy driving through the numbers. "There are well over 30,000 vehicles a day there, comparable to what you would see in front of the [Johnson City] Medical Center," Browning said. "And higher in places in Johnson City, like Roan Street by the mall."
Accelerated numbers have led to traffic tie ups and motorized mishaps. "Since 2010 we've had over 100 accidents in that intersection," Browning said. "And at least a third of them are specifically related to what we call the bypass lane."
And turning to another issue: left turns. "The left turn traffic where you're turning left onto the new Boones Creek Road, 354, that traffic frequently backs up," Browning added.
The town is working with TDOT on solutions like rearranging the intersection so traffic will have to stop and not merge to turn right on 11E west. That would eliminate the by pass lane. Then constructing double left hand turn lanes at the light and double receiving lanes on 354.
TDOT has fast laned the project with money already set aside. "They have approved it as a safety project," Browning said. "They're supposed to have some preliminary plans done by May."
Plans that many motorists say had to be done. "Oh, it had to be done," Jonesborough resident Dot Edwards said. "They should've done it a long time ago."