Info Page

Please write your elected officials TODAY and tell them you don't want the Orange Route! Click here for a list of addresses.

Letters to Gov. Bredesen and Commissioner Nicely

State Senator Tim Burchett and State Representative Parkey Strader wrote Governer Bredesen and TDOT Commissioner Nicely warning about the dangers of the proposed SR-475 Beltway to our children. Click here to read the Letter to Governer Bredesen and the Letter to Commissioner Nicely.

Elected Officials' and Candidates' Positions on the Beltway

Candidates' campaign contributors and campaign finance information can be found at Tennessee Online Campaign Finance.

State Senator Randy McNally
District 5 - Anderson, Loudon, Monroe and part of Knox counties

"I oppose the current design of the Orange Route because I feel the route should be moved further north and have expressed this opinion on a number of occasions to the Tennessee Department of Transportation." Click here for PDF of Sen. McNally's letter.

14th District Tennessee House of Representatives

The 14th District encompasses most of west Knox County, including the communities of Farragut, Concord, Solway and Hardin Valley.  It also covers the areas around Bluegrass Elementary School and A.L. Lotts Elementary School and most of the subdivisions along Northshore Drive.

Ryan Haynes, Candidate for TN State House, 14th district:

"I am 100% opposed to the orange route.  As you are well aware, Hardin Valley is an area that is ripe for development.  As communities grow, it does not make sense to take property off of the tax rolls in order for government to build projects that people have consistently said they DO NOT WANT!  Hardin Valley is one of the last areas in West Knoxville that has the space available to build great neighborhoods and shopping centers (if the people wish to sale the land).  To put an interstate through this area only harms property values and decreases the desire to buy homes that could one day lie next to the interstate.  I will never vote for the funding of this road nor will I let it become a toll road.

It is a shame that we pay taxes to build the roads and now they want to levy a tax to drive on the road. If we can't afford the project with our general tax dollars, than we do not need to have our citizens pay a toll. Let me reiterate myself... If sent to Nashville, I intend to vote "NO" on the funding of this project as well as toll roads. If need be, I am not opposed to adding amendments to the state budget that will decrease the TDOT budget the cost of this project until the idea is removed from the table. I could also use your help! Please write your legislators and county commissioners. If you have anything that I can do for you or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me. The more vocal and creative we can be, the less likely this road will be built. Win or loose this election, we can try and stop this road!

Ryan Haynes
Candidate for TN State House, 14th district"

Parkey Strader State Representative, 14th District:

"Hardin Valley is one of the most beautiful areas anywhere.  I recently discovered that I am a descendant of Joseph Hardin on my mother’s side of the family.  Col. Joseph Hardin had a son, Amos, whose daughter, Mary Hardin married Major Wilkerson.  Major and Mary had a son, William H. Wilkerson, who had a son named James Robert – my grandfather.

The Orange Route should never have been considered in Hardin Valley. The State of Tennessee bulldozed this project without proper discussion with residents.  In other words, it was “rammed down your throat.” In my opinion this route should be much farther west in order to actually alleviate traffic problems.

This project should be put on a shelf somewhere until all current construction is completed.  At some later date, the whole route should be reviewed and reconsidered.

I will help in any way possible to keep this beautiful valley from being scarred with concrete and tractor trailer trucks." --
Contact Rep. Strader in Nashville at or call 1-800-449-TENN (8366) and then enter Ext. # 12264.

Knox County Commission Candidates

Margaret Massey Cox County Commission Dist. 6-B (Demo.): "My position on the parkway has not changed. Knoxville and Knox County have long needed to build upon the resources of our region to bring new business and its accompanying jobs and tax revenues into our area. We have only just begun to create the dialogues necessary to build upon those resources. Oak Ridge with it's internationally recognized research center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is one of our area's greatest assets. A beltway to the far north of Knox County could be a catalyst toward that effort. Historically, growth takes place within a beltway. A parkway north of Oak Ridge would encompass long-term growth in North Knoxville, allow for the additional predicted growth that will be created within the parkway, and leverage the unique resources of Oak Ridge. All this accomplished while still achieving TDOT's goals of traffic management around populated areas." -- Margaret Massey-Cox 8036 Camberley Dr. 37849,, 947-3413

Leo Cooper County Commission 7-B (Rep.): "During my previous service on the Knox County Commission, I attended several meetings in our community concerning the selection of an appropriate Beltway under consideration by the State of Tennessee. The majority in attendance were opposed to the Orange Beltway. They did not want the intrusion into their community. I was in opposition then and will be now until the community tells me differently. Inasmuch, if elected, I will be representing a portion of the area affected, it is important that I represent their wishes regardless of personal opinion.

The State Legislature recently enacted laws to control Urban Spread. I see the Beltway as a way to encourage Urban Spread and a negative impact economically for this area particularly to business located in the Knoxville area." -- Leo J. Cooper, 5401 Brown Gap Rd. 37918-9124,  922-1935

Scott Russell (R) Knox County Commission District 6 Seat A: "I am against the proposed beltway (aka: Knoxville Bypass) that the State of Tennessee is trying to force on the citizens of the 6th District. There are several reasons why I take this position on the beltway. The main reason is the cost of the project, which is estimated at 600 million and that will be raised by the time everything is complete. This money could be better spent on programs such as education. Another reason is that the overall affect that it will have on Knoxville traffic is very minimum. The state will also be taking land from hundreds of owners who dont want to sell or divide their property. Another issue of great concern to me is the environmental impact this will have on our community. With air pollution at dangerous levels and the amount of run-off, which will occur with this type of construction, it could have devastating affects on our watersheds. If elected I will continue to oppose this issue. I will work very close with state officials to ensure that the beltway is stopped. You may contact me at H-938-9956, C-771-8784, or by email at" --Thank You, Scott Russell

Jamie Price Payne (D) Knox County Commission, District 6, Seat B: "In talking to the people of District 6. I have not found one person who is pro beltway. Even the people who would not be directly affected are against it.  One of the arguments I have heard that is in support of the beltway, is the economic growth that would be brought to the communities.  From what I have observed I do not believe  these communities want any economic growth, nor do they particularly need it.  The people who have moved to Hardin Valley and the surrounding areas and the families who have been there for generations, like it the way it is. They did not expect to find a Weigels or Walmart anywhere close to them and enjoy the quiet and beauty that has always been a part of the area." --  Jamie Price Payne 4901 West Beaver Creek Dr. 37849 Co. Comm. Dist. 6-B (Demo.) 947-4898

Greg “LUMPY” Lambert (R) Knox County Commission Dist. 6-B: "My opinion on the Orange Route:  The Orange route is too close to Knoxville to be an effective bypass; if the purpose is truly to create a bypass I believe that it should be located further north (probably somewhere around Crossville).  A majority of the citizens of the 6th district don’t want the Orange Route and as a representative (if/when I am elected) of those citizens I would do whatever I could to stop it.  The Orange Route is a state issue but as a County Commissioner I would use what influence I have with the state (I have already discussed this issue with friends who serve at the state level) to express the views of the citizens." Greg "Lumpy" Lambert PO Box 547 Powell 37849

Legislative Initiatives

There are several legislative initiatives underway to protect citizens against an overzealous TDOT. It is very important that you contact your legislators and voice your support for these bills. Go to for a list of all Tennessee legislators.

HB1204 by *Pinion, *Fraley, *Harmon. (*SB1152 by *Black.)

Transportation, Dept. of - Enacts the "Tennessee Tollway Act." - Amends TCA Title 4; Title 9; Title 12; Title 54; Title 55 and Title 67.

Fiscal Summary for HB1204 / *SB1152

Other Fiscal Impact - The fiscal impact of this bill is relative to the period of time considered. Over long periods of time (typically 20 to 30 years), the type of capital projects identified in this bill are expected to be revenue generators for the state or self-supporting at a minimum in that revenues would offset expenses incurred. Over shorter periods of time (1 to 5 years), state expenditures are expected to increase significantly relative to any increase of state revenues. Determining the extent of such shorter-term impacts is dependent upon several unknown factors such as the number of projects that will be undertaken, the scope and timing of such projects, the extent of funding acquired by the state as the result of any subsequent bond issues or federal funding, and toll revenue expectations. As a result, determining a precise fiscal impact for this bill is difficult. However, the increase to state expenditures is reasonably expected to exceed any increase of state revenues by $1,000,000 or more in each of the first three years for any such project undertaken.

Bill Summary for HB1204 / *SB1152

This bill authorizes the department of transportation to develop tollway or toll facility projects and to operate tollways or toll facilities. In order to develop and operate tollways or toll facilities, the department may expend funds from the state tollway account (created by this bill) and the state highway fund as appropriated by the general assembly and any funds, grants, or loans received from or made available by the federal government or any other government agency for any tollway or toll facility project.

This bill authorizes the commissioner to set tolls and to assign the authority to set tolls, for the use of tollways or toll facilities. The authority to set tolls and operate tollways or toll facilities will not apply to any highway, bridge or other transportation-related facility constructed prior to the effective date of this bill, except as may otherwise be provided or permitted by state or federal law, including without limitation the conversion of high occupancy vehicle lanes to high occupancy toll lanes on existing interstate highway facilities.

This bill authorizes the state funding board, at the request of the commissioner, to issue bonds, and authorizes the state to incur indebtedness, for the purpose of financing tollway or toll facility projects. The state funding board may pledge, encumber, transfer, or otherwise obligate funds held in the state tollway account as security for bonds or other indebtedness incurred by the state on behalf of the department for the purpose of developing or operating a tollway or toll facility.

This bill provides for the establishment of a state tollway account as a separate account within the state highway fund. The state tollway account would consist of the following:

(1) All toll revenues received by the department;
(2) Any revenues or funds that the general assembly may appropriate to the state tollway account;
(3) Any funds the department may receive from the federal government or any other government agency or private entity that by grant, donation, loan, or otherwise is dedicated to the state tollway account and may be lawfully pledged as security for bonds or other indebtedness incurred by the state; and
(4) Any interest earnings on deposits of or investments made from any funds held in the state tollway account.

The state tollway account may be used to defray costs associated with the development and operation of tollways or toll facilities; to pay the principal, interest and any premium due with respect to any bonds issued or other indebtedness incurred by the state for any tollway or toll facility project and to pay any costs incurred by the department or state funding board in connection with the issuance and payment of such bonds or other indebtedness; to be pledged as security for bonds or other indebtedness incurred by the state on behalf of the department for the purpose of developing or operating a tollway or toll facility; and any other manner that the state highway fund may be lawfully used.

This bill authorizes the department to enter into contracts, agreements or understandings with private parties, the federal government, or other governmental agencies for the purpose of developing or operating a tollway or toll facility. Any private entity or other governmental agency that operates a tollway or toll facility may, pursuant to an agreement with the department, set and collect tolls and receive other toll revenues from the operation of a tollway or other toll facility, subject to such conditions as the department may establish.

This bill provides that any person who uses any tollway facility without paying the toll required for the use thereof commits a Class C misdemeanor.

*SB1341 by *Burchett. (HB2117 by *Johnson R.)

Highways, Roads and Bridges - Requires TDOT to consider air quality when designing or constructing certain roads or highways in nonattainment areas. - Amends TCA Title 4, Chapter 3, Part 23 and Title 54.

Fiscal Summary for SB1341

Increase State Expenditures - $320,000 / Highway Fund Other Fiscal Impact - Enactment of this bill will increase federal expenditures by approximately $1,280,000 per year.

Bill Summary for *SB1341 / HB2117

This bill would require the department of transportation to consider the effect upon air quality when developing plans for any federally-funded, new road construction in any county that is an air quality nonattainment area according to the EPA. This bill would also require the department to take all steps necessary to improve air quality and lessen the impact on air quality. The department would provide a report explaining the impact of a road's construction on air quality to the appropriate county legislative body before making any contracts for construction of the new road. The report provided to county legislative officials would also be presented at all public hearings conducted in communities affected by the proposed road.

*SB1586 by *Norris. (HB1798 by *Rinks, *Bone.)

Growth and Development - Clarifies and expands certain provisions pertaining to land use decisions and their consistency with an approved county growth plan. - Amends TCA Section 6-58-107.

Fiscal Summary for SB1586

Increase Local Govt. Expenditures - Exceeds $100,000

Bill Summary for *SB1586 / HB1798

Under present law, after a county or municipality adopts a growth plan, all land use decisions made by the municipality's or county's legislative body and planning commission must be consistent with the plan. This bill would additionally require that any state action involving the use of land in the county or municipality be consistent with the required comprehensive growth plan. This bill would mandate that any infrastructure investments in urban areas be concentrated within areas identified as urban growth boundaries or planned growth areas. This bill would further direct that any infrastructure investments in rural areas be designed to have minimum impact on the areas and not foster premature development. This bill would require that the county growth plan provide for a variety of mixed uses within appropriate zoning districts, provide for land use measures that preserve the state's agricultural, forest, and natural resources, and ensure that premature development of land does not occur.