Knox Co. to move forward with repairs on Hubbs Creek Road

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

The closure was only supposed to be temporary, but it's lasted for months.

Last week we first told you about a group of folks on Hubbs Creek Road in Knox County, who are frustrated with a road improvement project that's turned into a huge headache.

It was intended to be a joint effort between the Knox County Fiscal Court and Girdner Mining. But now it appears the two sides have parted ways.

"It's been an inconvenience to many people," said Dennis Gibson.

Gibson lives on Hubbs Creek Road.

"We have a right to travel a county road," said Gibson.

Gibson said the stalled project is frustrating, especially since the road was never supposed to be closed permanently.

Girdner Mining and the Knox County Fiscal Court were both on board with plans to widen the road this summer. We're told construction hit a wall as a result of permit issues with the state.

"We're going to open the road back up that way we don't have to abide by the stipulations. The public will have the road back in its original location," said J.M. Hall, Knox County Judge-Executive.

Hall said the fiscal court plans to move forward with their own construction plans.

Girdner Mining offered to allow the court to build a temporary easement on private property, but the court voted against it.

"There were a couple stipulations in that temporary easement that the fiscal court did not agree with," said Hall.

One would have included moving a water line. The other applied to a weight limit on that easement.

An attorney for Troy Girdner told us the county has breached their contract with the company.

"When you close something for three and a half months, you are stepping on peoples' rights," said Gibson.

Those who live around here said they hope someone can fix the road soon.

Girdner's attorney said there was no comment with respect to the county's plans for repair.

Hall said the county will incur some expense for fixing the road, but they are getting materials donated to do so.

They will also have to get permission from the state to move forward with construction.

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