State Route 91 (Elk Avenue) – ElizabethtonCarter County
The project along State Route 91-ext. (Elk Avenue) in Elizabethton, Carter County involves mainly the addition of a center turn lane between Holly Lane and Roan Street, the reconfiguring of the three traffic signals at the interchange of Elk Avenue, Broad Street, and Roan Street, and an upgrade to the signal located on State Route 37 (US-19E) at the intersection of State Route 67 (State Route 91-ext/Broad Street). In addition to this work, State Route 67 (State Route 91-ext./Elk Avenue/Broad Street) will be resurfaced from the intersection at State Route 91 and G Street (Grindstaff Auto Dealer) in West Elizabethton to the intersection at State Route 37 (US-19E) (Food City) in East Elizabethton. Sidewalk and Curb Ramp upgrades will also be completed along this same route. The combination of these improvements should help alleviate congestion and reduce travel time for motorists traveling through the corridor as well as increase the safety of motorists entering and exiting businesses along Elk Avenue between Holly Lane and Roan Street. This project is part of TDOT Contract V914.
Several Utility relocations in coordination with the road widening will be completed within this same contract.
Purpose and Need
The existing Elk Avenue corridor between Holly Lane and Roan Street consists of four 11-foot-wide travel lanes (2 in each direction). These four lanes of traffic carry, on average, roughly 30,000 vehicles per day. This number is anticipated to increase to over 35,000 vehicles per day by the year 2040. At the current traffic levels and current capacity of the roadway, this corridor sees severe congestion daily. In addition, the lack of a center turn lane, makes it difficult and dangerous to exit many of the businesses along this corridor and creates more congestion and back-ups as motorists wait in the travel lane to make left hand turns into these businesses.
The current signal layout at the interchange of Elk Avenue, Broad Street, and Roan Street includes 3 separate traffic signals working in a coordinated manner to manage traffic coming from 5 different approaches. Although the current system is effective at moving traffic through the interchange, it is also highly inefficient and increases travel times drastically.
The planned modifications under this project should help to alleviate some of the congestion seen through this corridor and provide a safe turn-lane outside the flow of traffic for motorists making left hand turns into and out of businesses along the Elk Avenue corridor. The signal modifications planned in this project will also drastically reduce the cycle length and increase traffic flow through the Elk Avenue, Broad Street, and Roan Street interchange. This should largely reduce the travel time of motorists traveling through this corridor.
The Elk Avenue corridor between McArthur Avenue/Mill Street and Holly Lane will be increased from five 10-foot-wide travel lanes (2 in each direction and a center turn lane) to five 12-foot-wide travel lanes (2 in each direction and a center turn lane). Additional curb and gutter as well as new sidewalk and curb ramps will be installed along the north side of the road for pedestrian traffic. The Elk Avenue Corridor between Holly Lane and Roan Street will be increased from four 11-foot-wide travel lanes (2 in each direction) to five 12-foot-wide travel lanes (2 in each direction and a center turn lane). New curb and gutter as well as sidewalk and curb ramps will be installed along the north side of the road for pedestrian traffic. All road widening will take place along the north side of the road through both sections of this corridor.
The three separate traffic signal systems at the interchange of Elk Avenue, Broad Street, and Roan Street will be modified to a single traffic signal system. The signal system currently located at the split of Elk Avenue into Broad Street and Elk Avenue will be removed and the signal system currently located at the intersection of Elk Avenue and Roan Street will be removed. The signal system currently located at the intersection of Broad Street and Roan Street will be upgraded and remain as the single signal system. Eastbound and Westbound traffic along Elk Avenue/Broad Street will remain unaffected. Eastbound traffic continuing along Elk Avenue to Downtown Elizabethton will be maintained along a single lane of traffic with no stopping required. Westbound traffic along Elk Avenue coming out of Downtown Elizabethton will approach the newly modified signal system and can make either a left-hand turn to continue on Elk Avenue toward West Elizabethton, right-hand turn onto Eastbound Broad Street, or go straight Northbound on Roan Street. Northbound traffic along Roan Street will make a right-only turning movement onto Elk Avenue Eastbound. Southbound traffic along Roan Street will approach the newly modified signal system and either turn right onto Westbound Elk Avenue, left onto Eastbound Broad Street, or go straight on to Eastbound Elk Avenue toward Downtown Elizabethton.
The existing suspended strain wire signal system located at the intersection of State Route 37 (US-19E) and State Route 67 (State Route 91-ext/Broad Street) will be upgraded to a cantilever support signal system to provide the updated vertical clearance requirements. All traffic movements will remain the same.