Cherokee National Forest: Corridor K
Corridor K is the portion of US 64 along the Ocoee River roughly between Ducktown, TN and Cleveland, TN through the Cherokee National Forest. A second segment of Corridor K is in North Carolina. This case history will refer to the Tennessee portion of the project
Corridor K is one of the last of the Appalachian highway corridors to be completed. Currently in the planning phase, this project is intended to improve a dangerous stretch of highway that winds through a canyon. Alignment alternatives vary in length and location, with alternatives ranging from new alignments outside of the canyon to reconstruction of the existing alignment.
This project will be followed over time with updates on the Wildlife Crossings Toolkit, because several aspects of the planning, design and implementation are expected to have innovative lessons to be shared with other FLMAs.
Alternative Alignment Evaluation Process Begins
Among the issues in the Corridor K project are the selection of alternative alignments that minimize the impacts to terrestrial wildlife and rare plants in this biologically diverse area. Few highway projects today are dramatically different in alignment with the existing routes. Corridor K has several potential new alignments. Which of these is the best alignment for multiple competing tradeoffs of safety, economic benefit to local communities, environmental protection, and construction cost?
The Forest Service (Cherokee National Forest, Southern Research Station EFETAC, and Pacific Southwest Research Station), Tennesee DOT, and University of Tennessee-Knoxville, are collaborating on an innovative analysis approach to help determine the optimal alignment alternative. The process is using CRAFT, or Comparative Risk Assessment Framework and Tools, which is a probability-based approach that is designed to help managers evaluate difficult choices with multiple competing tradeoffs. The CRAFT approach involves stakeholders in a transparent process as well.
This process is just beginning at this time, and the progress will be followed on the Wildlife Crossings Toolkit.
Page Last Modified: February 18, 2014