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Reducing TVA Footprint At Jefferson/Neal Some 800K

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Reducing TVA Footprint At Jefferson/Neal Some 800K

Removing or replacing the TVA tower at the intersection of Neal Street and South Jefferson Avenue would cost at least $800,000.

Cookeville paid a $30,000 deposit in September to have TVA conduct a study to decide if the structure could be replaced by a one or two-pole structure. Cookeville Energy Department Director Carl Haney said removing the structure and adding turn lanes could ease traffic at one of the most congested intersections in the city.

“They have to look at more than just that one structure,” Haney said. “They look at the structures going both east and west there; make sure of distances and heights and all that. So, the finding of that was, they feel like they could replace that structure with a smaller structure.”

With the current structure, drivers in large trucks struggle to make the turn around the concrete wall separating the structure from the road. Haney said the city will take a close look into T-DOT’s traffic study to see if there are options outside of the expensive TVA replacement project.

“In the 10-year plan that T-DOT released, that’s one of the areas that would look at too,” Haney said. “So, I really feel like that would have to be looked at by T-DOT and Cookeville to see, ‘hey, is this needed that bad?’ Or what else we could do to help the traffic flow in that area.”

He said 161,000 volts travel through the tower and it is too large for Cookeville’s Energy Department to work on it. He said while the original plan was to find a way to put in turn lanes, the city has yet to get a chance to discuss alternate ways to proceed, or if the cost is worth it to clear up the congestion in the intersection.


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