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By Emily R. West

With congestion only getting worse, Franklin’s elected leaders will look at plan Tuesday night that could improve traffic flow on McEwen Drive.

The Board of Mayor and Alderman will hear a presentation from City of Franklin engineers about the project, titled Phase Four.

Back in 2015, aldermen approved a new professional services agreement with SEI to provide final right-of-way and construction documents for the project.  As of now, the design is near completion.

As laid out in the city’s capital improvements project’s plan, McEwen has been a relevant and pressing issue for some time.

It’s also been a priority for Ward One Alderman Bev Burger, who has one of the busiest thoroughfares in her portion of Franklin.

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. The cost of this project would run up to $26.4 million.

City staff said the improvements to this roadway are needed due to three different reasons – safety, economics 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.

During Tuesday night’s presentation, Franklin’s aldermen will have to weigh the pros and cons of doing the project with or without federal funding. That determination will ultimately lay the foundation for the timeline for expansion. Acceptance of federal funds will delay the project 15 to 33 months.

Aldermen will meet starting at 5 p.m. in the Franklin City Hall in the board room. This item will be covered last in their work session agenda.

Emily West covers the City of Franklin, education and the state legislature  for the Franklin Home Page. Contact her at emily@franklinhomepage.com. Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22.

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