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The past year in Spring Hill has been one of its most productive, leaders say.

“Our priorities remain public safety, transportation and parks,” Mayor Rick Graham said last week.

One of the biggest things that happened in transportation in 2016 was that the widening of Duplex Road, which was put on the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s three-year plan.

Duplex Road heads east from Main Street, serving hundreds of homes in residential neighborhoods.

“Starting the process for right-of-way purchasing for Duplex Road is perhaps the biggest achievement of 2016,” City Administrator Victor Lay said. “It became a real project when we started spending money, really going down and buying right-of-way. We worked it really, really hard and are getting very close.

“Everyone knows that our number-one issue is traffic, we hear it all the time, the Duplex Road project. It has taken us 10 years of engineering and re-meeting all the EPA stuff and going through all the pieces that we actually now start buying the right of way. When we are done and turn it over to TDOT, they will do the project. That is one of those things that has been hanging out there as, ‘Well, if we widened it … things would improve,’ and now we have the right of way almost done, and were able to put up the temporary light up on Duplex and Port Royal for the project.”

Also in the queue for roads is a $19 million widening of U.S. 31 to five lanes. A $15 million widening is also in the works for Buckner Lane to five lanes for connection to a potential future Interstate 65 interchange.

“I know people are frustrated with it, but there is a lot to it and a lot of things that have to happen,” Graham said. “We are looking at Buckner being widened to tie it into I-65. All of those things go into creating the new northern entrance to Spring Hill.”

Hotels, retirement developments

The first hotel in Spring Hill opened in December. The Hampton is an 85-room milestone, the first real hotel in the city. Another one – the Holiday Inn Express – is already under construction.

Several retirement homes also broke ground, including Southern Springs. Three total are in some stage of the process of being built.

“It is a good sign to see people wanting to move their parents and grandparents here, to Spring Hill, and seeing that people are moving here to call it home,” Graham said.

The Planning Commission also gave a green light to Cadence Crossing, a large, mixed-used project that will go right along Main Street.

The developer of the site has a concept plan for the R-4, high density residential section, which includes 29 detached single-family homes and 49 town homes, and approval for the B-2 neighborhood shopping commercial section, which includes two lots fronting Main Street.

Zach Harmuth covers Spring Hill and Thompson’s Station for the Spring Hill Home Page.