McEwen/CoolSpring/Oxford Glenn Updates

Dear Residents: August 20, 2012
After McEwen Phase III opened in April, the city administration knew that the
intersection would be an issue since the road and roundabout were not
connected. Unfortunately, the city could not complete this final step of the Phase
III construction because funds from both the state and the city were maxed out at
that time.
Before phase III was completed, I began to ask for funding while securing the
commitment from the other members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen
(BOMA) so we could quickly move forward with all phases including design,
securing the right-of-way, and the actual construction. This project will extend
the western part of McEwen Drive through the roundabout and connect back into
the current McEwen Drive just east of the Garden Club Estates entrance.
We have secured the funding and the board’s commitment and we are now in the
design stage, obtaining the necessary right-of-way, as well as working with the
utility companies in the area. The city plans to go out to bid on this new section
sometime in the next few months and we are hopeful that construction will begin
by the end of 2012 / beginning of 2013, with completion date sometime in the fall
of 2013. We are moving as quickly as possible so the congestion at this
intersection can be relieved and a functioning roundabout will be working
sometime by late 2013.
In the meantime, we have been experiencing traffic back-up on Cool Springs
Blvd., which is a major collector road and traffic impeding the outbound access of
our fire trucks out of the Fire Station on Cool Spring Blvd. This situation had to be
corrected immediately, which necessitated the new traffic pattern at the
intersection. I understand that some of you believe we traded one problem for
another and that may be true, but it was imperative that we not impede access in
and out of the Fire Station.
Our traffic engineers studied the intersection at McEwen, Cool Springs, and
Oxford Glen and they provided the best solution, given the difficult
circumstances. We believe that this solution addresses both problems. The
situation on Cool Spring at the Fire Station has been rectified, and traffic flow at
the McEwen, Cool Springs, and Oxford Glen intersection between 4:30 pm and 6
pm has improved.
We also recognize that we must do something to free up the traffic congestion on
McEwen in the mornings. The current traffic pattern is not ideal for those coming
from east McEwen. We are certainly fully aware of the tie-ups and have the daily
traffic counts, in addition to documented wait times as well. In an effort to
minimize the current traffic problem, I have suggested, along with the City
Engineering Dept., that we place a police officer in the intersection from at least 7
am until 8:45 am, Monday through Friday. The officer will allow traffic to function
and move on its own as much as possible when it is not backed up much further
then Garden Club Estates entrance. However, once traffic backs-up to that point,
the officer will conduct traffic control as needed. We have already completed one
week with the Officer on duty at the intersection and we believe this will be the
best solution for moving traffic for the next year in a safe and cost-effective
Some have suggested the installation of a traffic light, but the cost of the light
would be approximately $75,000 to $100,000. In addition, this would not be an
immediate solution since it would take at least two to three months to work with
utilities, order the equipment, and actually get the light installed. Using the police
officer provides an immediate and less expensive solution. This solution also
provides flexibility. If we find that we need to increase the Officer’s time at the
intersection we will do so as the need presents itself, especially now that school
has started. We find that the intersection is functioning fairly well during the other
times of the day, but the City will continue to monitor it closely this fall and for the
next year.
I know this is not the ideal situation, but we know that within one year we will
have a fully functioning roundabout that will release the tie up for our morning and
evening commutes. I have received numerous inquiries about this intersection
and I am sorry I could not get back with you all with this full explanation before
this time. I have been meeting with the City Administrator, our City Engineering
Dept., and our Police Dept. over the last two weeks in an effort to analyze and
resolve this situation. Our City Administration and staff are totally involved in this
issue and continue to work hard and smart in making sure we are doing the best
we can do for our citizens given the current situation for the next 12 months.
I ask for your help and patience during this tedious time. I appreciate all the
suggestions and input the City and I have received from you all and I am
ALWAYS willing to take your calls and hear your concerns and work with you all
to bring about effective solutions to these issues.
I promise you I will stay on this and will send out regular updates on the road
project as we have them from our departments. Again, please be aware that they
will be evaluating this intersection on a regular basis.
As far as construction of the new intersection at Wilson Pike and McEwen; we
had hoped that the project would be underway by now, but we’ve been tied up
with the railroad and utilities and acquiring the right–of-way of a property section
that is in foreclosure. These issues must be resolved before we can move
forward with the construction phase. As soon as we get full releases from the
railroad, utilities, and the property issues, we will immediately begin work. It is our
desire to move ahead and get this intersection completed as soon as possible.
The school board had committed $1M towards this intersection under the
condition that it would get started by August 2012. Do to no fault of our own (as
mentioned above) we will not be able to start this intersection in August so we
are asking the School Board to extend our contract with them. I would assume, in
all good faith, that they would do so since the City is not the party holding up the
construction. We shall see. I will also send out updates on the intersection at
Wilson and McEwen as I receive them from the city.
Thank you and I count it an honor to serve the residents in Ward 1 and the City of

McEwen Phase 4 Status Update

Alderman Beverly Burger

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