KINGSPORT ‚¬ Three major road projects are slated to begin next week, repairing a section of Watauga Street from Linville Street to Lamont Street, reconstructing the East Center Street island at the intersection with Fort Henry Drive and construction of a new island on Wexler Street at the intersection with East Center.

The Watauga Street project will begin Tuesday, April 29, 2014, and requires milling to remove the existing asphalt from the concrete below, then repaving, with the existing speed tables remaining in place. The milling work is being conducted by a contractor, although the paving work is being performed in-house by Streets & Sanitation crews from the Citys Public Works Department.

Flagmen will attempt to maintain at least a single travel lane, but motorists should seek other options, with the work expected to take 10 days or less depending on weather and conditions.

Meanwhile, the Center Street Islands Project is slated to kick off Wednesday, April 30, 2014, with this work being conducted in anticipation of a Tennessee Department of Transportation repaving effort later this year on Center Street.

As part of the project, the existing island at the intersection of East Center and Fort Henry will be reconstructed to permit two through travel lanes for eastbound Center Street traffic headed towards North Eastman Road, and a single free-flowing travel lane from East Center onto Fort Henry Drive. Currently, only a single lane continues towards North Eastman, while two lanes flow onto Fort Henry. Traffic engineers believe this reconfiguration will improve the overall efficiency of the intersection, which also must permit traffic onto Prospect Drive.

The second island is being constructed on Wexler Street at the Center Street intersection, which, upon completion, will shift travel lanes on Wexler approximately 15 feet to the west. Once complete, the Wexler leg of the intersection with Center Street and Sullivan Street will no longer be signalized.

The Center Street Islands Project is expected to take about 45 days for completion.

As always, motorists should plan ahead, seek alternative routes where possible in both instances, and use the utmost caution in the work zone.