A few of the orange and white barrels are still lined up along the edges, but the new northwest extension of Mack Hatcher Parkway is now fully opened from Hillsboro Road to New Highway 96.
And judging by the use it was getting late Monday afternoon, word of its opening has spread quickly.
“Thanks goodness it’s open,” said Franklin Mayor Ken Moore, who drove the length of the extension on opening day. “We waited so long to get this northwest extension built and completed. I think it’s a bright spot in our future, helping improve traffic flow, and also it’s an opportunity for continued investment in our community. … It’s a beautiful road.”
Moore will be among officials from the city of Franklin and the Tennessee Department of Transportation who will hold a ribbon cutting for the new extension Monday, Dec. 13, at 2 p.m. As part of that ceremony, the half-mile long bridge that spans the bend in the Harpeth River around Brownland Farm will be dedicated in memory of Charles Sargent, former District 61 state representative who died in 2018 after a life of service to Williamson County.
The $45 million project includes a new two-lane roadway from Hillsboro Road to Highway 96 on the west side of Franklin with a 12-foot wide multiuse path.
“I saw people on the path already,” Moore said, “and I think it’s going to be a great link for recreation and getting people involved and active.
Work on the northwest expansion of State Route 397 — or Mack C. Hatcher Memorial Parkway — got underway in early 2019. The new roadway extends the existing four-lane, divided parkway approximately 3.1 miles, from south of Highway 96 to east of Hillsboro Road. Other access points are located at Del Rio Pike and Old Charlotte Pike.