Road improvements could soon be coming to two I-26 exits

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)- Two congested Interstate 26 exits are due for some necessary renovations and they are now one step closer to getting those updates.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is moving forward with funding road projects at exit 17 in Boones Creek and exit 24 at University Parkway.

News Channel 11 found out these projects could bring more than just construction to Johnson City.BOONE'S INTERCHANGE

Jack Phipps has lived off of the Boones Creek exit for nearly 30 years and said work on exit 17 is desperately needed.

“This is a booming area and traffic is horrendous right here at rush hour, believe it or not,” Phipps said. “So, I’m all for it. I think it’s a little bit overdue.”

TDOT has approved work at both the Boones Creek exit and the University Parkway exits in Johnson City with work beginning as early as this year.

Johnson City Director of Public Works Phil Pindzola said, “Construction should start this year for Highway 67 or the University Parkway interchange over the course of the next year as that project will be implemented and completed.”

He said TDOT has “funded the ride away portion of the Boones Creek interchange and then we’ll follow in subsequent years … so, we’re about a year out or a couple years out.”

I26 SIGNPhipps said he’s on board with the growth taking place so close to his home.

“I am very much for the growth here,” he said. “That’s just betterment for our taxes and for the people of Johnson City and Washington County.”

Pindzola said that Boones Creek is a prime location for economic development.

“The best place to grow our economy in terms of what we’ve historically seen in commercial developments would be in Boones Creek,” Pindzola said. “I just expect it to fill up.”

As Boones Creek is seen as an ideal location for growth in Washington County, Pindzola said big businesses could be attracted to the area once construction is complete.

“You will see commercial development, major commercial development, in the vicinity of the interchange and then all the way back to Roan Street,” Pindzola said.

The two road projects are estimated to cost over $4.5 million. The projects are included in TDOT’s three-year transportation plan which will be implemented once approved by the Tennessee General Assembly.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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