Construction on a roundabout at the "Five Points" intersection will force motorist to change the way they drive through Jonesborough for a few days. (Tony Duncan/Johnson City Press)
Motorists should be aware of traffic pattern changes at the intersection of Tenn. Highway 81, Tenn. Highway 353 and Depot Street in Jonesborough this weekend — better known as the “Five Points” intersection.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation on Wednesday issued a traffic alert notifying motorists they should expect potential delays and use extreme caution when traveling through this area as workers construct a new roundabout in anticipation of new development in the area.
“Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and ending at 6 a.m. Monday, April 14, (Tenn.) 81 will be closed from Depot Street to Britt Drive, though traffic will be allowed to turn onto downtown streets,” TDOT Region 1 Community Relations Officer Mark Nagi said Wednesday. “Traffic heading north on (Tenn.) 81 should turn right onto Depot Street, then left onto 2nd Street towards U.S. (Highway) 11E.
“Traffic heading south on (Tenn.) 81 will be stopped at Britt Drive, through traffic should turn left onto 2nd Street, then right onto Depot Street towards (Tenn.) 81. Traffic coming from (Tenn.) 353 will follow the roundabout to Depot Street, and then to U.S. 11E, and traffic heading towards (Tenn.) 353 from (Tenn.) 81 will follow 2nd Street toward Depot Street, and then through the roundabout to (Tenn.) 353.”
There will be detour signs pointing traffic toward these temporary routes.
The project was approved in 2012 after the town asked for TDOT’s assistance after experiencing what Town Administrator Bob Browning described to the Johnson City Press as “a fairly significant number of accidents” at the intersection.
In December, construction began after Summers-Taylor Inc. was awarded a roughly $1 million contract. The project’s estimated completion date is May 14, although bouts of foul weather this winter temporarily slowed the pace of construction.
The roundabout, or “traffic circle,” keeps traffic flowing all the time and creates a much safer intersection, Browning said.
Summers-Taylor President Grant Summers said in late March that his crews would be constructing the traffic circle over the next six weeks. There will then be another traffic switch onto the circle to allow work on the off-ramp on (Tenn.) Highway 353 going toward David Crockett High School.
For more information on travel conditions across Tennessee visit www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway or call 511 from any land line or cell phone. TDOT is also on Twitter. For up to the minute traffic information in Knoxville and the Tri-Cities, go to www.twitter.com/knoxville511.