Jake Thomas Connector from US 321/US 441 (SR 71/SR 73) to Veterans Boulevard (SR 449)Sevier County
The Jake Thomas Connector will be a 2-mile road that connects the existing Jake Thomas Boulevard to Veterans Boulevard in Pigeon Forge. This project will consist of the grading, drainage, construction of bridges and retaining walls, signals, and paving on the Jake Thomas Connector from US 321/US 441 (SR 71/SR 73) to SR 449 in Pigeon Forge.
Purpose and Need
The Jake Thomas Connector will serve as a direct between the Pigeon Forge Parkway and Veterans Boulevard. This connector will give travelers and tourists a more direct route from shopping and entertainment on SR 71/SR 73 to Dollywood and its resorts on SR 449.
The Jake Thomas Connector projects begins at the intersection of Jake Thomas Blvd and Teaster Lane. From the Teaster Lane intersection to the entrance to the Ripken Experience, Jake Thomas Blvd is a five (5) lane road with three (3) lanes heading towards SR 71/SR 73 and two (2) heading towards SR 449. From The Ripken Experience on, Jake Thomas Blvd has five (5) lanes; two (2) in each direction with a center turn lane between them.
Jake Thomas Connector project has two only intersections, one at the beginning and end of the project. The first intersection is at Teaster Lane and the second one is at S.R. 449. Both intersections are already signalized, although the phasing will change upon project completion.
There are two (2) Bulb Tee Beam Bridges on this project. The first is a 406 ft three-span bridge that crosses over Ridge Road near the center of the project. The second is a 250 ft two-span bridge that crosses over Middle Creek near the end of the project.
The entirety of the Jake Thomas Connector will be walkable as there will be a 5 ft concrete sidewalk on both sides of the road for the length of the project. There are also numerous ADA compliant ramps throughout the length of the sidewalk to facilitate people with disabilities and bicyclists.