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City invests $1.6 million to make Amherst Road safer
May 9, 2022, 1:12 pm

amherst road before repairs
Before repairs; shows erosion of the actual driving lane and a guardrail needing better soil, and more of it, for a more secure anchoring. City of Knoxville

KNOXVILLE -- The Amherst Road Slope Stabilization Project was complicated: The slope banking the roadway and shoulder was deteriorating, and the road was slowly getting skinnier as outer pieces of asphalt crumbled.

The solution involved bringing in better soils, stone and gabion baskets. And the upgrades – re-establishing the roadway shoulder and bringing the guardrails up to current standards – required the cooperation of residential property owners on one side and the CSX railroad line on the other side.

So on April 1, following a City investment of roughly $1.6 million, this large section of Amherst Road – closed since last fall – was reopened to commuters.

amherst road retaining wall
View from across the CXS rail tracks that shows the retaining wall, which at its highest point is 11.5 feet tall. Poor soils were discovered as the wall was being constructed, resulting in the need for additional gabion baskets. City of Knoxville
amherst road
New road and protective guardrails. City of Knoxville

A 775-foot-long stretch of slope is now stabilized, reinforced with a 533-foot-long retaining wall. New guardrails have been installed. The project also corrected an issue with asphalt settlement at the Amherst Road bridge over the rail line near Lee Road.

CDM Smith was the project designer, and Morgan Contracting was the construction contractor.

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