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Excellence in Highway Design
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Category 2 - Rural Highways

Award of Excellence

Photo: US Route 23/Future Interstate 26


US Route 23/Future Interstate 26

Unicoi County, Tennessee


Designer: Florence & Hutcheson, Vaughn & Melton, Flynt Engineering
Contractors: Wright Bros., Vecellio &Grogan, Holloway, McKinnon, R.R. Dawson, Summers-Taylor

Exceptional care and planning went into the design and construction of US Route 23. The resulting 24 km (15 mile) highway preserves the natural integrity of the landscape, while providing economic, social and aesthetic benefits to the surrounding community and visiting motorists. Gracefully winding through the mountains, the highway features two overlook/rest areas and two wildlife crossing structures. The overlooks, constructed of indigenous stone, provide breathtaking views and access to hiking trails. The habitat crossings were built to allow bears and other native wildlife to move safely across the corridor. Special efforts also were taken to control erosion along the corridor's cuts and fills.

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