York Road Williams Road Nolensville Road intersection

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is developing a key intersection to provide right-of-way, traffic control signals and other roadway improvements on Nolensville Road.

Early last year, Nolensville installed a temporary traffic signal at the intersection to stabilize traffic regulation after a long stint with only a blinking yellow light for Nolensville Road motorists and a blinking red light for cross traffic. TDOT’s involvement stems from a contract between the agency and Nolensville as proposed by the Town Commission under then-Mayor Jimmy Alexander.

The town had already applied to be added to Tennessee Treasury Department’s Local Government Investment Pool, and in August 2020, local officials received a contract offer from TDOT for assistance with right-of-way and related construction on the York Williams Road intersection project.

This comes as Nolensville Road sees other significant construction efforts from TDOT at key points in not only Williamson but also Davidson County. Also designated State Route 11 or U.S. 31-A, the major thoroughfare serves as the subject of TDOT’s significant reconstruction and widening efforts from just south of Burkitt Road in Williamson County almost to Old Hickory Blvd. in Metro Nashville. The agency’s stated objectives are to diminish congestion, improve safety and keep pace with the “growth in this rapidly developing area.”

The widening project is significant enough to merit two phases with the first spanning a segment of Nolensville Road running north of Mill Creek toward Old Hickory Blvd, which is in the vicinity of Lenox Village. Elements of growth in that area include the $47.6 million mixed-use Vintage Edge development breaking ground last fall, bringing 191 apartments and 17 office suites to Nolensville Pike between Lenox and Old Hickory Blvd. Last month also saw a South Carolina real estate investor purchase the Accent Edgewood apartment complex on Nolensville Pike for about $77.6 million.

Nolensville’s contract with TDOT primarily represents the much anticipated reconstruction of the intersection of York Williams Road and Nolensville Road, which will overhaul turn lanes and traffic signals. The town entered the agreement upon remitting a construction deposit of just under $720,000 to the state Treasury’s Local Programs Development office with the expectation of the project’s scope to extend no further north than Sanford Road and stopping just south of Summerlyn Drive.

The town holds an account with the state’s investment pool from which it paid the high-six-figure sum, but due to the nearly two years of elapsed time since the town applied for the project’s inclusion therein, an additional balance of almost $70,000 accrued.

“That cost has now gone up as one would expect with everything, so this is the additional cost,” according to Town Manager Victor Lay. “Of course, we also have an agreement with another developer that reimburses us for this cost.”

The Treasury will also credit the account’s principal with interest adding to any surplus that may remain at the end of the project.

The LGIP is a state-operated fund offering municipal governments easily cashable investment opportunities for competitive returns by leveraging the State Pooled Investment Fund’s assets to make those opportunities theoretically more cost effective than private-sector opportunities would be. The state characterizes this as a means to mitigate the urgency of generating more tax revenue.

LGIP affords towns like Nolensville to invest taxpayer dollars with the reassurance that those funds will be available when needed. In the meantime, that tax revenue earns the same reliable returns that the Treasury sees. In 2021, the State Treasurer earned $143 million last year for the state and participating local governments.