July 29, 2010 - A realigned section of Valley View Drive that will make it easier and safer for residents and other drivers to access Washington Pike near Knoxville Center Mall will open to traffic Friday morning at 9 a.m.
The three-tenths mile section of new road splits off the existing Valley View Drive to intersect with Washington Pike at Centerline Drive a short distance south of the old intersection.
The realignment will improve traffic flow at what had been a somewhat trying intersection, particularly for area residents and other motorists on Valley View who wanted to turn left onto Washington Pike.
"Where Valley View came into Washington Pike was very close to the I-640 off ramp, which made it very difficult to turn left onto Washington Pike there," said Steve King, the city's director of public works. "The project realigned Valley View with Centerline Drive and we also put in a traffic signal, so it's a much better intersection and people can get out there at the signal."
Area residents had expressed interest in seeing an upgrade of the Valley View-Washington Pike intersection and the project was also one of several proposed traffic improvement projects included in a traffic study of the Washington Pike area.
Construction on the City of Knoxville Engineering Department project began in Mid-May of 2009. The total cost of the Valley View realignment was $966,416 and Sharp Contracting Inc., from Maryville, was the contractor.