Utility eyeing area’s safety
by RICK NORTON Associate Editor
Feb 03, 2014 | 894 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bart Borden
Bart Borden

Additional driver awareness signage intended to reduce the number of accidents at the increasingly busy intersection formed by APD 40 and the Spring Creek mixed-use development have been erected, and more traffic alerts could be ahead.

Bart Borden, vice president of the Cleveland Utilities Electric Division who also oversees the city’s traffic signal network, reported utility engineers have been in contact with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to discuss possible enhancements to the sometimes congested traffic signal area.

“Cleveland Utilities engineering contacted the Region 2 traffic engineer (for TDOT) to discuss the possibility of increasing driver awareness of the APD 40 at Spring Creek intersection,” Borden told Cleveland Board of Public Utilities members during a recent session.

He added, “A few accidents have occurred that involved vehicles coming down the hill on the westbound approach. The Tennessee Department of Transportation suggested installing an additional ‘Signal Ahead’ warning sign in the median. A flashing warning beacon could be installed in the future, but must be installed on both signs.”

Borden pointed out CU crews will add “back plates” to the eastbound and westbound signals to make them more visible to motorists, and possibly even flashing warning beacons — especially for during the morning and evening hours when the sun is rising and setting. Glare from the sun is reportedly making the existing traffic signals more difficult to see from both directions, he advised.

The two “Signal Ahead” warning signs have been placed in the median. CU traffic engineers, along with Tad Bacon who coordinates Cleveland’s traffic signals for the utility company, will monitor the junction to assess the effectiveness of the signage. If necessary, CU will consider the additional measures to enhance motorist safety in the busy area, Borden reported.

Borden is expected to provide updated reports on Electric Division activities at the CU board’s next meeting which is scheduled for Tuesday in the Tom Wheeler Training Center. It is a regularly scheduled monthly gathering. Updates are expected to include the impact of January’s bitter cold temperatures, and last week’s snowfall, on CU operations.

In another traffic development, which also covers a busy area where safety is paramount, Borden alluded to a project on Ocoee Street that involves crosswalk design, materials and coordination for Lee University students and other pedestrians.

“A work order was issued to install new crosswalk signals with black decorative poles and mast arms on North Ocoee Street, just south of Billy Graham Avenue for Lee University,” Borden reported. “All the materials to construct the signals have been received.”

Installation work began in late December with the intent of completing it prior to the return from the holiday break of Lee University students; however, inclement weather has delayed progress.

In his monthly report to CU board members, Borden also touched on several additional project updates:

- CU and TDOT representatives were scheduled to meet to discuss the feasibility of dividing the APD 40 interchange project at Stone Lake Road into two phases. Borden said TDOT’s proposal is to construct the overpass and both on-and-off ramps on the west side in Phase I. Phase II would be the construction of the east ramps, he said. Phase II would impact transmission lines operated by both CU and TVA.

- Work on the Chatata Creek Substation C-214 tie line project has been placed on hold, in order to move CU crews to TDOT’s road-widening project at Durkee Road “... due to the immediate need to move the lines for construction,” Borden reported. He said work will resume on the substation once the Durkee Road project is complete.

- CU’s engineering and metering personnel have been working with Discount Tire Center on Stuart Road to properly meter the new facility.

- CU engineers are preparing to work closely with the contractor and electrician on the Speedway fueling and convenience stores being constructed at the intersections of 25th Street and Chambliss Avenue, and Georgetown Road and Paul Huff Parkway.

- Talk Wireless, a Sprint retailer of cellular services and products, has requested electric service in the Publix Shopping Center and will have an expected load of 10 kW.

- A work order was issued to install 10 underground-fed street light poles and fixtures in the Weston Hills Phase IV development. Home construction in this phase increased over the past year and required the addition of lighting, Borden reported. The estimated cost of the project is $16,082.50 and will be added to the street light investment account.

- Site plans reviewed by CU engineers in November included Speedway at Westland Drive and APD 40; Ocoee Medical Office Park at 2400 North Ocoee St.; and Nelson Place on Fletcher Road N.W. (a water and wastewater design plan).

- Plat reviews considered by engineers included Habitat Tasso on Dalewood Lane, two lots (final plat); STT Millwrights Property on Overhead Bridge Road (final plat); Stonebriar Lot 41 on Stonebriar Drive N.E. (final plat); Stonebriar Development on Stonebriar Drive N.E. and Gate Tower Way N.E. (final plat, Phase 4); Lakewood Subdivision off Freewill Road N.W. (revised final plat); and Brookstone Townhomes, Chelsea Drive N.E., preliminary lots 4-5 and 7.