News & Notes

August, 2018

August 6, 2018

Scorecard: Donelson Transit development envisions 'downtown' for one of nation's hottest ZIP codes

The Donelson plan, which Metro Council began vetting in March, would create a district where MDHA could devote up to $30 million of Metro tax revenue to “fund infrastructure, affordable housing and economic-development activities.” One-third of that money, or $10 million, would be devoted to subsidizing construction of affordable and workforce housing, targeted to different income levels (typically, affordable units are priced for people earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income, while workforce units are priced for people making up to or even a bit more than the area median income). Councilman Jeff Syracuse, who represents Donelson, said he continues to coordinate with MDHA, the Metro Planning Department and the council to create the framework for how best to establish the transit-oriented development district, which would be the first of its kind in Davidson County.

 After being postponed twice during the council’s most recent meetings, the Donelson plan is expected to go back before Metro Council for its third and final vote in August.

August 6, 2018

$1-Million T-DOT Grant To Improve Mercury Blvd. Sidewalks 

State Senators Bill Ketron and Shane Reeves report that a $1-million grant will be used to improve sidewalks on Mercury Boulevard.


The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant will fund construction of sidewalks along Mercury Blvd. from S.E. Broad Street to Apollo Drive. The project includes ADA compliance, pedestrian signals, crosswalks, and school flashing speed limit signals. That basically includes the area starting at Bradley Academy and continuing to Hobgood Elementary, including the Rutherford County Library System's new all digital Technology Engagement Center.


August 1, 2018

TDOT picks company to fix I-440; construction to begin in the fall 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation awarded the contract for the Interstate-440 construction project to Kiewit Infrastructure South Co., TDOT announced Wednesday. The bid was submitted by Kiewit at $152.9 million. 

Kiewit will work over the next three to four months to complete the design and will begin construction in the fall. TDOT anticipates completion of the project by August 2020. 

Two lanes of I-440 will remain open during peak travel times, according to TDOT. 

July, 2018

July 30, 2018

Mt. Juliet hires new planning director, Jennifer Stewart 

Mt. Juliet has named a longtime employee as the city’s new planning director following the abrupt exit of the previous planner who quit after two weeks with criticism of the planning commission process.

Jennifer Stewart was announced as the head planner this week by City Manager Kenny Martin.

Stewart, 39, has been a Mt. Juliet employee for 18 years, starting with the Mt. Juliet police communications center.

She worked 16 years in the planning department, five years as the zoning administrator and deputy planner. Stewart has also been the interim planner several times.

“As far as professional certifications, Jennifer has the most important certification and that is job know how,” Martin wrote in an email. “She has 16 years of dedicated experience in planning and knows pretty much everything about every square inch of this city.”


July 26, 2018

Nashville turns to roundabouts to curb speeding, traffic congestion

Some of the busiest intersections in Nashville are getting roundabouts to slow down drivers, and one could pop up in your neighborhood.

Metro Public Works is looking to build more traffic circles around the city to ease congestion and speeding. 

July 19, 2018

Rutherford to get state's first "Smart Corridor" on I-24  

Tired of wondering why Interstate 24 traffic comes to a standstill during your commute? The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is preparing to spend tens of millions of dollars transforming a 30-mile stretch of roadways from Nashville to Murfreesboro into a SMART Corridor designed to notify motorists and keep traffic moving – even if slowly – when an accident takes place.

Work is expected to be done in several phases over the next 12 years, including improvements to roads and ramps and the installation of an Intelligent Transportation System, and could cost about $125 million, according to State Rep. Barry Doss, chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

TDOT hasn’t released details on the plan, which takes a comprehensive approach to managing existing infrastructure and improving vehicle movement to make travel time more reliable between Rutherford and Davidson counties, according to department officials.


July 19, 2018

Mayor Unveils Metro Traffic Plans 

In an exclusive interview, traffic anchor Rebecca Schleicher spoke with Mayor David Briley about different plans to fight the growing traffic problem.

He laid out several ideas, including adding technology like sensors and cameras to traffic lights to help ease the flow of traffic around the area. The eventual plan is for an entire traffic control center to serve as a hub for the different intersections across the city.

"It's going to be a lot about technology. It's going to be a lot about being smarter," Briley said Wednesday.

But there is a catch. Without a funding source, the city said many of its ideas aren't possible. Facing a budget shortfall, that means Metro Nashville will rely heavily on state and federal funding to bring the ideas to life.

"We don't have a dedicated revenue source anymore because the referendum did not pass," Briley said. "We have to use our existing revenues, our existing partnership, and try to leverage them as best we can."


July 14, 2018

Sam Ridley to widen to 3 lanes each way from I-24 to Old Nashville Highway 

The busy Sam Ridley Parkway will be widened to three lanes each way near Interstate 24 within a few years, Smyrna officials said. 

"This is huge," Smyrna Town Councilman H.G. Cole said during a Tuesday night meeting. 

The council hired Gresham, Smith and Partners to work on designs estimated to cost $650,000 to widen Sam Ridley Parkway from I-24 to Old Nashville Highway. This parkway stretch goes by StoneCrest Medical Center and numerous shopping centers, restaurants, offices and stores. 

The elected officials also hired the firm to craft an estimated $25,000 design for an extension of Potomac Place that would cross the parkway and reach Chaney Road. The future Potomac-Sam Ridley intersection would include a traffic signal that will replace the one at Chaney and the parkway to prevent traffic from stacking, Smyrna Public Works Director Tom Rose said. 

The town is also pursuing Sam Ridley Parkway upgrades at two other intersections: StoneCrest Parkway-Industrial Boulevard and Old Nashville Highway.

July 13, 2018

Auto Parts Manufacturing ‘Field of Dreams’ facility ready to start in Spring Hill

Construction of a new auto parts manufacturing facility is approved to begin after the Municipal Planning Commission’s approval of the project’s final site plans.

The proposed “Field of Dreams” project, which will consist of a 145,000 square-foot facility at 355 Cleburne Road, will create an estimated 134 jobs with an average salary of $42,000.

The name of the company has not been publicly announced. The Daily Herald previously reported it as Faurecia, an international supplier of seats, headliners and instrument panels for companies such as General Motors.

July 12, 2018

Did you hear the big news? Nashville MTA is now WeGo Public Transit. It’s more than just a new name and look, a series of improvements are being made to the system. Lean more here.

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