Okolona Road will experience intermittent road closing

By Lesley Jenkins
star staff

The Tennessee Department of Transportation, Maintenance Division, is intermittently closing Okolona Road, also known as State Route 359, to widen the shoulders of the road to increase safety.
   The road will be closed while TDOT workers are on the scene. When the crew is not working, during the early morning, evening and on weekends, the road will be open to traffic.
   According to Kim Keelor, public information officer for TDOT, construction will occur at the intersection of the Milligan Highway and continue approximately 300 feet.
   Workers will widen the shoulders of the road approximately three feet on both sides. The right shoulder for those driving north drops off and has no guardrail to prevent cars from going down a steep embankment.
   "Guardrails are under consideration, but no final determination has been made because we are waiting for Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation clearance on property use permitting," Keelor said. TDEC is reviewing some permits at this time because of the proximity of Buffalo Creek to the construction.
   TDOT has notified neighboring residents, emergency dispatchers, and law enforcement agencies of the project. The road connects the Milligan and Erwin Highways. Keelor suggests State Route 361, State Route 67, or Interstate 26 as alternative routes.
   The total cost of the project is not known because plans are not final, and the road is expected to be closed for about one month.