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County to pave way for Rocky Fork

Completion of a road near Upper Higgins Creek Road in the south end of the county has been on the commission’s agenda for years, said Unicoi County Mayor Greg Lynch.
Since the announcement that Rocky Fork will be the state’s 55th park, Lynch said updating the road system around the Flag Pond area is a necessity.
The first step in ensuring roads are suitable for a projected increase in traffic volume in the area is to complete overdue renovations to a 0.3-mile section of Upper Higgins Creek Road, Lynch said.
“It’s already under duress as far as traffic from the Flag Pond community,” Lynch said. “The road is very narrow. We’re just having a hard time maintaining that road.”
Lynch said he is concerned about vehicles pulling off to the side of the road for oncoming traffic, and would like to see it widened and paved.
“People actually drive through in their trucks and cars and sometimes they have to go over too far and into the brush, which scratches their vehicles,” Lynch said.
Issues with the road have prompted county officials and Unicoi County Superintendent of Roads Terry Haynes to take action by requesting the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s help.
“We felt like since it’s been an ongoing problem, we ought to try to address it,” Lynch said. “We think we might be able to get it addressed through TDOT, hopefully, as part of the traffic flow to the state park and Rocky Fork recreation area.”
State representatives are also being enlisted by county officials to support the initiative, Lynch said.
“We’re just going to take it to our state representatives,” Lynch said. “I think [Haynes] has a meeting lined up with some people in transportation this week.”
The Unicoi County Commission unanimously voted to approve a resolution of support at their regular meeting on Monday to improve arterial traffic access from Interstate 26 to US 23.
The motion was made by Commissioner Dwight Bennett and seconded by Commissioner Kenneth Garland.
Bennett waived the county’s agenda to include that upon approval the letter of support will be sent to Sen. Lamar Alexander as well.
During the meeting, Haynes reported to the county commission that he has initiated conversations with Rep. Kent Williams.

For the remainder of this article please see the February 26, 2013 edition of The Erwin Record.