News & Notes

May, 2017

May 26, 2017

I-440 fast track: Work on pothole-plagued stretch to begin in 2018 

Now that the ink has dried on the IMPROVE Act, the state law that raises additional funds for transportation projects, the real work begins – building roads, fixing bridges, easing traffic and boosting safety.  Which of the 962 projects outlined in the law are ready to go, right now, and where and when can drivers start seeing improvements?  The answers are beginning to emerge.

The short answer:  1) I-440 in Nashville, 2) Alcoa Highway in Knoxville, 3) I-75/I-24 split in Chattanooga, 4) Widening of U.S. 78 in Shelby County

Those projects have gotten a big green light for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year.

May 24, 2017

Nashville needs 31,000 new affordable housing rental units by 2025, report says

Nashville's shortage of affordable housing units for rent is projected to rise to 30,934 by 2025 if more isn't done to create new options for low-income residents, according to a new report from Mayor Megan Barry's office.The analysis says in 2015 there was a shortage of 17,754 affordable rental housing units to meet the demand for households that earn 60 percent or below of the median household income, which is currently $52,026.

May 24, 2017

Mayor Barry on mass transit: Nashville can't let growth 'equal gridlock' 

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announced her three-year transportation plan Wednesday, including new information about the city's planned light-rail line along Gallatin Pike.

Called "Moving the Music City," the plan features various short-term transportation fixes — such as improved sidewalk infrastructure, increased bus frequency and better bus technology — that will ultimately be put into action by the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority and a new Division of Transportation, which will be housed within the Metro-Nashville Department of Public Works.

May 22, 2017

Heads up drivers: Self-driving cars could be on Tennessee roads later this year 

That's right: Self-driving cars could hit Tennessee roads as early as this year, after the state's General Assembly passed new legislation Tuesday.  For Middle Tennessee in particular, the impact of self-driving cars is often a talking point for how the region might solve its increasing mobility troubles, the thought being if drivers don't have to focus on the road, then they can use the time they spend commuting being more productive, rather than wasting an hour in traffic each day.

May 22, 2017

Long-awaited repairs on Nashville's I-440 slated for coming year after gas tax hike 

Long-awaited repairs on heavily damaged Interstate 440 will begin some time over the next calendar year under a three-year transportation program released by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Work on I-440 will include both pavement rehabilitation and safety improvements and extend 7.7 miles from Interstate 40 to Interstate 24.

May 22, 2017

Construction on Franklin's northwest Mack Hatcher Parkway set for next year 

After years of delays, construction is now planned to start on the long-awaited northwest quadrant of Mack C. Hatcher Memorial Parkway in Williamson County in 2018. 

May 22, 2017

Can new Lebanon train station impact region's transit? 

Construction is underway on a new train station in Lebanon that officials hope can spark commuter rail to a real impact toward helping Middle Tennessee’s growing transportation woes.  The new station will be part of the Hamilton Springs mixed-use development on Highway 70, making it the first transportation oriented development in the region and state.  And hopefully a start to more significant ridership for the Music City Star to make an impact as a more legitimate transportation option for the region that transit and government officials believe is essential with the region's growth.

May 22, 2017

How transit-oriented development can provide affordable housing 

Nashville is currently at a crossroads.  The city is growing by 100 new residents each day, crowding both our highways and housing markets. Indeed, concerns over affordable housing and transportation are at an all-time high.  These issues share an intricate connection in how Nashville will develop as a 21st-century global city.Fortunately, both housing and transportation are central components of NashvilleNext, the city government’s future development plan. Plentiful housing and a modern, high-volume transit represent two of the plan’s seven intersecting elements for comprehensively reshaping the city.

May 22, 2017

How should Franklin widen Columbia Avenue? 

According to the City of Franklin's 2016 traffic counts, nearly 18,000 vehicles make trips down the corridor every day. At least 45 percent of that traffic comes in the form of thru trips, meaning vehicles are coming into Franklin or headed toward Spring Hill. With traffic only expected to continue to grow by 2040, the time is right and Franklin is in a good financial position to finally expand the corridor. "The traffic isn't a peak problem," City Engineer Paul Holzen said. "It's dispersed throughout the day and backs up throughout the day." But the question remains how Franklin leaders should tackle the problem. 

May 22, 2017

SR-109 widening to be completed in 2019: TDOT 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is widening the roadway from Odoms Bend Road to Airport Road from two to five lanes. Improvements will see the lanes expanded to 12 feet wide in each direction with a dedicated center turn lane or dividing median, along with paved shoulders. Total cost of the project $15.58 million.  The improvements  are slated to complete in August 2019. 

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