Sevier County awarded TDOT air quality grants for traffic flow, upgrades

Air quality is being studied in East Tennessee. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The lines of traffic headed into Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg can seem especially long in summer and fall.

All three cities are getting a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation that may go towards fixing that.

A TDOT clean air grant will give Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, the Sevier County Utility District and construction group Blalock and Sons each a share of a $700,000 award.

The grants are funded by a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program.

Sevierville and Pigeon Forge will put the money towards reducing idling times and traffic delays along the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway (I-40 Exit 407 to the intersection of SR66/US441).

Gatlinburg plans to replace a diesel-powered trolley with a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) trolley, and the Severville Utility District will replace five diesel trucks with CNG trucks. Blalock and Sons plans to convert one truck to dual diesel/CNG and replace another diesel truck with a CNG truck.

The air quality grants are funded via the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement.

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