Highway Department breaks ground broke for new facility

The Blount County Highway Department broke ground on its new facility March 31 during a brief ceremony at the site adjacent to the City of Alcoa Service Center at East Edison Street and North Wright Road.

Highway Superintendent Bill Dunlap said it was long overdue for the department to get a new facility. “I’m tickled to death the highway department is finally going to get something deserving and true to our nature. Its not going to cost the citizens anything,” Dunlap said. “Everything will be built from the proceeds of the property we sold.”

Developer Jay Dunlap paid $3 million for the current highway department property which is adjacent to the Hamilton Crossing shopping center at Louisville Road and U.S. 129 Bypass.

Bill Dunlap said another benefit to this move is that the 16 acres where the current facility is will be on the tax roll and projections say $750,000 in sales taxes will be generated annually for education. “I know it’s a cliché, but to me that comes out as a win-win,” he said.

Dunlap was elected highway superintendent in 1994. “It was a goal I put for myself early in my first term to do something to upgrade the highway department and let people we know are a viable part of county government,” he said.

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