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By JENNIFER RAYMOND
The paving of Swan Pond Road is on track and anticipated to be completed by mid-April, TVA officials revealed Monday during a open house to update residents on the cleanup progress of the Dec. 22, 2008, fly ash spill at Kingston Fossil Plant.
The road will be reopened to the public when the paving is completed, TVA spokeswoman Barbara Martocci said during the open house in the gym of Roane State Community College’s main campus.
Martocci said several other roads, including Hassler Mill and Swan Pond Circle, have been paved with the help of the Roane County Road Department.
The open house offered residents an opportunity to ask questions about the fly ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant and the recovery efforts.
A decision has still yet to be made as to where the 5.4 million cubic yards of ash that was released will be placed.
Dredging ash from the Emory River was started on March 19, and everything is moving along as planned, according to ash spill incident commander Tim Hope.
Hope said a little less than 10,000 yards of coal ash has been removed from the water thus far.
A second dredge was also added and placed in the water on Monday.
The dredging was scheduled to run until 10 p.m. on Monday, three hours longer than previously.
Hope said TVA officials were planning to assess the noise level Monday night and make the determination as to whether the later dredging could continue.
The first phase of dredging will last about 60 days.
“It will get a little more than half of it,” Hope said.
Water and air quality samples continue to be taken and continue to meet standards, TVA air program manager Don Houston said.
“We are committed to (sampling) until the recovery is over,” he added.
Long-term ambient air monitors have recently been put in place, according to Houston.
“They are more sensitive monitoring equipment,” Houston said.
The monitors run for a 24-hour period.
Officials with TVA also said they do not expect any impact in water-based recreation due to the spill.
The channel is currently open for boaters, but they are asked to stay away from the spill area because of the dredging equipment.
The water levels of Watts Bar Lake continue to be the same and have not seen an impact from the spill, reservoir operations lead engineer Terry Twine said.
“We’re not doing anything different because of the ash,” he added.
The water level is actually slightly higher than normal due to the recent rainfall.