KNOXVILLE – State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) today announced that Lamar Alexander Parkway has been extended to Oak Ridge as a result of legislation passed recently by the Tennessee General Assembly. Yager said the extension is in recognition of the former Governor of Tennessee and U.S. Senator’s leadership and commitment to the Department of Energy’s missions in Oak Ridge.
Yager made the announcement at the Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC) Summit held in Knoxville where he presented Alexander with a copy of the sign marking the Parkway’s extension. Under the new law, Lamar Alexander Parkway now passes by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Y-12 National Security Complex and near the East Tennessee Technology Park, the former K-25 site.
“As everyone who is aware of the history of the Tennessee Valley Corridor, knows it was former Governor Alexander’s vision of a science and technology corridor in the Knoxville metro area that has led to the Tennessee Valley Corridor we know today,” said Sen. Yager. “In those days he famously said to people in East Tennessee, “You need to understand how important Oak Ridge is! Let’s talk about the Oak Ridge Corridor.” And he still says that today!”
“I was proud to sponsor the amendment to extend the designation of Lamar Alexander Parkwayfor the entire length of the highway to where it intersects with Oak Ridge Turnpike in the City of Oak Ridge in Roane County,” Yager added.
The four-lane highway, U.S. Highway 321, was constructed in Blount and Loudon Counties during Alexander’s service to Tennessee. It connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Maryville and Lenoir City, previously terminating at Interstate 40 in Loudon County. It was named for Alexander in recognition of his home town and ardent support for the National Park.
“During Lamar’s service as Governor, President of the University of Tennessee, and United States Senator, he has had no greater priority than advancing the vision and ideas that are represented in the mission and goals of the Tennessee Valley Corridor, Yager said. “With this designation, the Lamar Alexander Parkway, will serve as a permanent reminder of his service to Oak Ridge and his Corridor.”