By EMILY R. WEST
The City of Franklin now sits in phase one of multiple capital projects – that means building a park, widening roads, repaving streets and building a new fire station.
These projects would undergo completion throughout the next decade with a price tag around $75.1 million spanning across eight projects.
Here is what they are based on priority:
East/Southeast Multipurpose Park
As explained in the Parks Master Plan approved in 2015, Franklin needs another park east of Interstate 65.
The park would sit in the Ladd Park area on a 120-acre plot the City of Franklin already owns, with more than half of the property in the flood plain.
With this addition to the city park system, football programming could migrate there along with lacrosse and some other field sports. The design, greenways and splash pads will also have to be approved.
The cost of the proposed park would total around $13 million. Need for the park comes from explosive growth in East Franklin and Berry Farms.
East McEwen Drive Improvements Phase Four
A priority for Ward One Alderman Bev Burger, one of the busiest thoroughfares in her portion of the city will expand.
According to the capital planning document, Phase Four takes McEwen Drive from one lane to two between the roundabout at Cool Springs Boulevard/Oxford Glen Drive to Wilson Pike (SR-252). The construction will include lanes, streetlights, curb an gutter and pedestrian access.
City staff said the improvements to this roadway are needed because of three different reasons – safety, economical and congestion.
At least 5.2 million square feet of office space, 450,000 square feet of retail, 700 hotel rooms and 2,418 multifamily units have developed at the corner of the Carothers and McEwen intersection.
With further development on the horizon, city staff said it wanted to help mitigate traffic before it continued to get worse.
The cost of this project would run up to $26.4 million.
East McEwen Drive Right-Turn Bypass Lane
To keep with the improvements of the McEwen Phase Four, the city would also like to upgrade the roundabout leading to the four-lane extension.
The project consists of the construction of a right-turn bypass lane for westbound motorists turning right from East McEwen Drive onto Cool Springs Boulevard.
According to the city report, this particular roundabout has one of the highest crash rates in Franklin.
“The high crash rate is probably due to lack of public understanding of how to drive through a roundabout and the high volume of traffic utilizing this roundabout,” the report stated.
The improvement will cost $947,400.
For those wanting more walkability in the city, an injection of $250,000 could help create more connectivity.
In conjunction with Franklin Tomorrow, the City of Franklin is working to compile a list of places residents would like to see addressed. The report said several places in the city have sidewalks that don’t always logically connect.
Fire Station No. 7
Currently operating out of the Williamson County Ag. Expo, the city wants to give a more permanent home to Fire Station No. 7.
The Goose Creek Bypass dealing with the explosion of a tanker truck back in 2014 shed light on the need for more emergency personnel in the area. The Berry Farms and East Franklin area has also increased in population size.
Cost for this facility will bring a $4.3 million price tag.
Franklin Road Streetscape Improvements
Want to walk from Harlinsdale to downtown? This $14 million upgrade will now allow residents to do that just that.
Rather than walk on yards or the tiny shoulder that now exists on Franklin Road, walkability into downtown will become more well-rounded.
According to the city’s staff report, pedestrian safety and utility upgrades are the primary reasons for moving this project forward. And as more events are moved to Harlinsdale Farm – like Pilgrimage Festival and others – the priority of this project will only continue to grow greater.
Goose Creek Interchange Lighting
With that end of town being a little dark, Franklin aims to light up the Goose Creek bypass.
The city report stated lighted intersections and interchanges tend to have fewer crashes than without light. The majority of the intersection crashes at night are primarily associated with visibility.
Franklin will need to partner with TDOT to fund 50 percent of the cost associated with this project.
The total cost is $870,000.
Major Street Resurfacing
Coming in at $13.8 million, the city will resurface several of its streets by 2022.
2017 – Cool Springs Boulevard, from Mack Hatcher Parkway to East McEwen Drive
2018 – Royal Oaks Blvd/Mallory Lane, from Mack Hatcher Parkway to Cool Springs Blvd
2019 – Mallory Lane, from Cool Springs Boulevard to Moores Ln
2020 – Liberty Pike, from Franklin Road to Broadgate Drive/Waverly Place 2021 – Del Rio Pk, from Cotton Ln to Hillsboro Rd
2022 – Carothers Parkway, from Long Lane to Isabella Lane
2023 – East McEwen Drive from Cool Springs Boulevard to Wilson Pike
2024 – Boyd Mill Avenue/Carlisle Lane, from SR-96W (Jim Warren Park) to Del Rio Pike
With millions of dollars looking in the face of aldermen, some wondered how the city was going to handle funding the projects. At this particular meeting, how precisely the city would pay for them wasn’t detailed.
“The public needs to know how much and how we are spending the money,” At-Large Alderman Ann Petersen said. “This is something that we need to talk about. Maybe I am the only one who cares about how much debt I am having.”
Petersen said she was aggravated about not discussing it in complete detail at the October work session. Though, the city said it would bring it back up at the Budget and Finance Committee and have an additional work session.
“Everyone has put in a lot of effort,” Mayor Ken Moore said. “Everyone is concerned about it. That’s our job.”
Why is Mack Hatcher Parkway not on this list?
The City of Franklin didn’t include Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway on this list.
Despite the nagging need for the northwest quadrant of Franklin, any extensions or expansions of Mack Hatcher fall under the prevue of the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
The City of Franklin has already invested $5 to $7 million into this project for environmental and other impact studies.
As of now, Mack Hatcher didn’t appear on the 2016 three-year plan. Those are updated yearly.