Knox County Engineering and Public Works recently completed a $1.8 million project that drastically improves safety on a section of E. Emory Road in Powell.

Construction began in April 2021 to realign Bishop Road, Taggart Lane, and Norman Jack Lane to create a single intersection with E. Emory Road.

“This is a very busy five-lane roadway. This section has limited lines of sight due to a hill and a curve. There were several intersections that came out at three different locations and none of them lined up, so you had a lot of left-turn conflicts. We had severe crashes that occurred,” said Jim Snowden, Director of Engineering and Public Works.

The county solved the problem by realigning the roads to create a single interchange with new traffic signals, turn lanes, and pedestrian crosswalks. Crews completed the new intersection in January 2022.

The project realigned Bishop Road to connect and overtake Norman Jack Lane, previously a short cul-de-sac drive for Rural Metro Fire Station 36 to access E. Emory Road. The new Bishop Road now aligns with Taggart Lane on the opposite side of Emory Road to create a safer intersection for drivers and first responders.

“The Rural Metro Fire Station can activate a button inside their fire trucks to make the Emory Road traffic signal go red. The traffic on the highway will stop and the fire truck can get out much safer than before. That’s a big benefit for the fire trucks and their response times,” said Snowden.

“The best way to ensure Knox County remains the best place to live, work, and raise a family, is to continue finding ways to improve infrastructure across the county,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs.

“We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from the community. We’re excited about it. We think it’ll provide a lot safer travel for the folks out here in Powell,” said Snowden.

You can see the video of the new interchange at E. Emory Road on YouTube.

This video is the first in a series of stories highlighting major Knox County projects.