News & Notes
January 14, 2019
How will planned 'Smart Corridor' help ease traffic woes on I-24?
The drive between Davidson and Rutherford counties using Interstate 24 can be unpredictable.
But the Tennessee Department of Transportation's new pilot called the I-24 Smart Corridor Project could be the solution.
"We can't make the road any shorter, but what we can do is make the commute time shorter in having reliability in your transportation," said Paul Degges, TDOT Chief Engineer.
The new Smart Corridor will be the first of its kind in Tennessee and it will use existing infrastructure to improve travel times for drivers.
It's part traditional construction, like more acceleration lanes, and part new technology.
"We're going to put 23 shoulder mounted dynamic message signs," said Degges. "Right now, the big overhead message signs are spaced out at about three miles."
The more frequent message signs on the interstate will provide more detailed updates to drivers of speed, lane or merge conditions ahead, while traveling information boards will guide drivers to alternate routes.
"It's going to allow the user in the network to make better decisions and hopefully we can actually reduce congestion and reduce secondary crashes," said Degges.
It'll also upgrade and adjust traffic signals of connector routes to optimize alternate route in the event of an incident on I-24.
Degges said the technology will also help TDOT more efficiently manage traffic, like finding the root of a slowdown.
January 4, 2019
$28M Gallatin project to connect SR-109 to Dobbins Pike will alleviate downtown traffic
After more than a decade of planning and preparation, the City of Gallatin will soon launch a $28 million project to build a connector roadway between State Route 109 and Dobbins Pike.
The city accepted a bid for $27,440,488 by Jones Brothers Inc. of Mt. Juliet to connect the northern and eastern areas of Gallatin by extending Hatten Track Road to State Route 109.
The project is expected to divert approximately 12 percent from Downtown Gallatin to the new road, according to a news release.
"What's unique is our city engineers and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) are working together on this project, allowing us to better control the design," City Engineer Nick Tuttle said in a prepared statement, adding this project is the largest locally-managed road construction project of its kind in Tennessee.
December 19, 2018
'Merry Christmas, Franklin': Long-awaited Mack Hatcher extension breaks ground
After nearly a decade of waiting, Franklin residents will finally see progress on the newest extension of the Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway.
The improvements will stretch from the existing intersection at Mack Hatcher and Hillsboro Road to the Westhaven neighborhood on Highway 96 West. The total cost of the 3.2-mile project will be about $46 million, according to officials from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
"Merry Christmas, Franklin," Mayor Ken Moore said. "Santa has come. No one can remember how long this has been on Franklin's project list. We appreciate the opportunity to have this road."
The roadway will cross over the Harpeth River twice.
Phase I will include the construction of the inside half of the entire roadway. With this project, there will be one travel lane in each direction. However, the intersections at Highway 96 West, Del Rio Pike and Hillsboro Road will be built in their entirety.
Phase II of the project hasn't been funded. That construction phase will add two travel lanes outside of the median.
December 12, 2018
Nashville loses out on transit grant
Federal officials have rejected Metro's application for a $1.5 million BUILD Transportation grant to help finance a two-year corridor study of Dickerson Pike, Mayor David Briley's office confirmed Tuesday.
The study was meant to help reshape the future of Dickerson Pike, which runs downtown through the northern part of East Nashville. The study would have determined the viability of bus rapid transit along the corridor, as well as identify where Metro could designate a potential redevelopment district along Dickerson. The creation of such a district would allow the Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority to use taxpayer incentives to juice transit-focused development.
December 10, 2018
Traffic, transit at core of debate over proposed West End tower
Downtown Nashville's expansion is delivering more dense development than ever before to neighborhoods outside the urban core and fueling contention among residents tired of sitting in traffic and staring at glassy towers.
On the edge of Midtown, four neighborhood groups have banded together against a proposal for what would be one of the largest buildings in West End.
Brentwood-based GBT Realty wants to erect a 378,700-square-foot tower with a 175-room hotel, shops, and either offices or residences. The building would sit on a 1.5-acre lot bound by Murphy Road, West End Avenue and Interstate 440.
The proposed 207-foot-tall tower is nearly double the size allowed by existing zoning regulations and would dwarf several nearby high-rises.
The bid shocked neighbors in West End, Hillsboro, Sylvan Park and Richland, who say that it's one large step closer to traffic gridlock.
December 7, 2018
Alexander: $25 Million Federal Grant Will Help Fix Middle Tennessee’s Traffic Jams
United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said a $25 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to the city of Spring Hill will help reduce traffic congestion in Middle Tennessee.
“It’s not a secret, traffic congestion in and around the Nashville area is a headache-- right now, if you take I-65 from Spring Hill to Nashville, you’re probably late to work because you’re sitting in at least an hour of traffic. This $25 million federal grant will create a new avenue for Middle Tennesseans to get to work more quickly,” Alexander said. “This was a highly competitive grant and Spring Hill will receive $25 million, which is the most any applicant can receive. This award is a great compliment to our state and its leadership.”
The city of Spring Hill will receive a $25 million federal grant to construct a new interchange between I-65 and I-840 and an extension of Buckner Road from Bunker Lane to Lewisburg Pike to connect the new interchange. The federal grant is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program, which awards competitive grants to communities in Tennessee and across the country to fund significant transportation projects, including highways and bridges, public transportation systems, passenger and freight railroads and port infrastructure.
The BUILD grant program is funded by the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee, of which Alexander is a member. In Fiscal Year 2018, the BUILD grant was federally funded at $1.5 billion.
November 21, 2018
Is telecommuting the solution to heavy Nashville traffic?
Tired of Nashville traffic? Yes, that's a rhetorical question. However, this next one isn't. Have you asked your boss if you can work from home?
If you are the head of the company, have you considered letting workers telecommute?
Nashville city leaders say the city is going to need more businesses to open up to the idea as part of a bigger plan to manage the growing traffic problem.
With tunnels, light rail and AMP all failing, experts say telecommuting equals winning and Gild agrees.
“In 2018, employers need to be able to provide that benefit,” Gild said.
The top fields offering remote work are medical and health, customer service, IT, accounting, education and administration and the work ranges from entry level to executive positions. Some studies show companies save about $11, 000 dollars per telecommuter in office expenses and operational costs.
November 5, 2018
Spring Hill Thoroughfare update to focus on public
The city is looking to update its major thoroughfare plan, a living document, or roadmap, to how Spring Hill will develop its roads and infrastructure through 2040.
A public town hall meeting was held earlier this week at city hall, which was well attended by Spring Hill citizens and representatives. The meeting was conducted as an “open house,” where citizens were given the opportunity to pinpoint and vote on what city roads they believed should be given highest priority.
Much of last week’s meeting was the chance for citizens to talk to developers and give their direct input. However, the project’s leaders encourage more people to reach out to Thompson by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or traffic engineer and transportation planning manager Dyan Damron (email@example.com).
“Try to keep in mind that these projects are not cheap and they are not quick,” Damron said. “They aren’t going to happen by this time next year, but they will be in place. This is so we can have a plan in moving forward.”
October 26, 2018
A possible 676 more residences to provide growth spurt to Mt. Juliet's core
The middle of Mt. Juliet will experience a growth spurt that could be up to 676 more residences that represent three very different developments.
Two developments that total 344 units have been approved by the city commission. They are:
• Vintage Station North: A mixed-use plan to build 192 apartments and 28 town homes between Industrial Drive and the railroad tracks near the train station. Construction is expected to start in early 2019, with the first units targeted for completion in about 14 months and the entire build-out by the end of 2020.
• Mountain Brook: A senior living community on just under 8 acres on Old Mt. Juliet Road near Old Lebanon Dirt and North Mt. Juliet roads that will include a three-story 102-unit facility and 22 additional independent villas for ages 55 and older. Construction on Mountain Brook is targeted to start late this year or early 2019, with hopes to open in 2020.
Lynwood Station is a proposed development that plans 113 single-family homes and 219 town homes on Clemmons Road, also near the train station. The project has received a positive recommendation from the planning commission and will now seek city commission approval.
October 26, 2018
Hendersonville board approves Forest Park Development despite concerns of overcrowded schools, roads
Residents who spoke both in favor of and against the proposed 626-home Forest Park development agree on one thing: change is coming to Hendersonville in the form of growth. What kind of growth, however, was a main topic of debate at the city's Oct. 23 board of mayor and alderman meeting.
After listening to citizens speak on both sides of the issue, the board ultimately voted in favor of the development.