Construction begins Monday on Mount Carmel's second red light

Jeff Bobo • Apr 28, 2019 at 9:57 AM

MOUNT CARMEL — Contractors are scheduled to begin work Monday on a long awaited project on Highway 11-W that involves installation of a new traffic light at one intersection and the relocation of highway access at another.

Todd Butler, from Maryville-based Southern Contractors Inc., told the Times News Friday that work on and around the Belmont Avenue intersection and the Englewood Avenue intersection will not result in any closed lanes of traffic.

However, Butler wanted to make the public aware that there will be construction between April 28 and July 31, and he urged motorists to use caution when passing through those areas.

The requests for both projects were made by Mount Carmel in 2014.

The Tennessee National Guard Armory had also reportedly requested the new light, which will be located at the Englewood intersection, where armory traffic enters the highway.

“We will proceed with this work as quickly as possible,” Butler said. “In the meantime, we ask that motorists, especially drivers of emergency vehicles, be made aware of traffic pattern changes and delays due to construction.”

Englewood Avenue light

The Englewood Avenue traffic light request was made on the heels of multiple serious accidents at that intersection.

Between 2010-12, there were nine crashes on 11-W at Englewood, five of which resulted in injury, and two of which resulted in incapacitating injury.

Aside from being requested by the city and National Guard, the new light was also requested by Builders First Source, which is located at Englewood and Main streets and accesses the highway from that intersection.

Butler told the Times News that a traffic light equipment company recently went out of business, and there is currently a backlog of orders for the manufacturers.

As a result, it might be early fall before the signals are actually installed and functioning.

Unlike Mount Carmel’s Hammond Avenue traffic light, however there will be no Main Street red lights at Englewood.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted last year to install red light photo traffic enforcement cameras at Englewood after the red lights are installed.

Belmont Avenue access to Highway 11-W

Due to an elevation difference, Belmont Avenue is the only Mount Carmel north/south thoroughfare that doesn’t exit directly onto 11-W.

The 11-W access is actually a stone’s throw east of the where Belmont ends at Main Street.

Between 2010 and 2012, there were 13 accidents at that intersection, three of which involved injury, and two that involved incapacitating injury.

TDOT’s plan for that intersection is to move the 11-W access 125 feet east of its current location and farther away from Belmont Avenue.

Traffic entering the highway from Main Street will also be restricted to westbound turns toward Church Hill.

Main Street traffic wishing to turn east toward Kingsport will have to do so from another intersection, the closest of which will be the new Englewood Avenue red light.

The overall cost of the project was listed at approximately $300,000.