BRENTWOOD FIRE & RESCUE’S SWIFT WATER TEAM RETURNS FROM HOUSTON
The Brentwood Fire & Rescue Department Swift Water Team traveled to Houston for a six-day deployment to help with rescue efforts following Hurricane Harvey. The Brentwood Fire team was one of 91 Tennessee teams that created the Tennessee Task Force led by the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and the Tennessee Association of Fire Chiefs’ Mutual Aid Network.
During the first two days of the deployment, the task force worked in an area southwest of Houston to provide support to rural areas. The unit was based at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds where members were required to be completely self-sufficient. Williamson County and TEMA provided communication and logistical needs throughout the deployment.
“We relied on cots and tents we had brought with us,” said Brentwood Fire Engineer, John Russ. “The community also showed so much appreciation to all the responders with a steady flow of food and bottled water. We really appreciate their hospitality while we were there.”
Crews worked directly with the Houston Fire Department conducting welfare checks on residents who chose to shelter in place. “Several residents were very tired of the dilapidated living conditions after the hurricane, so we were able to help evacuate several people ready to leave,” Russ said. Later, Brentwood joined efforts with local partners like the Franklin Fire Department, Knoxville Fire Department, and Williamson County Sherriff’s Office to form Strike Team 15. This specialized group checked several homes and structures for damage. The teams documented residents who chose to stay and remain sheltered in place, and evacuated individuals by boat from flooded subdivisions and apartment complexes.
For the balance of the deployment, the Tennessee Task Force broke into two teams and conducted welfare checks and performed evacuations of residents on Houston’s west side. Rescue boats and crews from Tennessee were in water for the majority of this task.
At press time, the unit was standing by for possible deployment to Southeastern communities in the path of Hurricane Irma.
ROAD IMPROVEMENTS PROJECTS UNDERWAY
Several major road improvement projects were initiated within the city of Brentwood last month.
The largest project is the widening of Franklin Road between Concord Road and south of Moores Lane. TDOT will be widening the roadway from its current two and three-lane configuration to a five-lane configuration with a pair of north and south bound through lanes and a center turn lane. The project will also include a multi-use path on the east side. The project is expected to take three to four years to complete.
Crockett Road/ Green Hill Roundabout
Construction began on a new roundabout at the intersection of Crockett Road and Green Hill Boulevard /Raintree Parkway. Civil Constructors, LLC secured the bid for $955,025. The roundabout will replace the existing four-way stop and was selected over other alternatives following extensive analysis by Brentwood’s Traffic Engineer, Mike Harris.
“Given the backup that currently occurs at the four-way stop during peak times, we had to look at ways to improve the flow of traffic,” said Harris. “A traffic signal or a roundabout would perform equally well during heavy volume, but the roundabout significantly outperformed the signal during off-peak times and was considered the best option.” The roundabout also has the advantages of lower operating cost, less impact to adjacent properties, and a higher capacity to accommodate future growth in traffic volume.
Construction is expected to take about six months, weather permitting. The road will remain open to traffic during construction except for temporary lane closures outside of rush hour. Notices will be posted in advance of any closures, but drivers should use caution and expect delays.
Sunset and Ragsdale Road Realignment
A third project will entail a realignment of Sunset and Ragsdale Road. Improvements will include a three-lane curb and gutter roadway with center turn lane and intermittent raised median, as well as a 10-foot bike/pedestrian path behind a 5-foot grass strip. Construction is underway and is expected to be completed by late next year.