A proposal made earlier in November that would see a major portion Kedron Road temporary closed for four to five weeks was shot down Monday after the Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to defer the request until later in December. The proposal initially saw negative feedback from much of the board, who cited major traffic concerns that would be further exacerbated by the holiday shopping season.
The initial proposal was made by ECI Construction, with representative Matt Ross explaining that in order to complete required road improvements for the Columns on Main apartment complex, a temporary closure of Kedron Road was desired. The proposal asked city leaders to consider closing Kedron Road just south of Main Street for four to five weeks from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday - Friday.
On Monday, board members noticed the previous figure of four to five weeks had been changed to 12 weeks. Infrastructure Director Chip Moore with the Spring Hill Public Works Department explained that the reason for the extension was due to the risk of weather delays that are common for road improvement projects during the winter.
Alderman Vincent Fuqua had previously suggested the developer consider doing road improvements during the night, something he noticed had not been included in the most recent form of the request. Moore explained that Fuqua’s proposal was “not something that [the developer was] inclined to do.”
“I want to reduce construction times on any project however we can, but in my opinion, by doing this even between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., it’s crippling to this area of the city, so I’m not going to be supportive of this this evening,” Fuqua said.
The majority of the board also expressed concerns of closing such a high-trafficked road during the holiday season, with Alderman Hazel Nieves arguing the fault lies on the developer, not Spring Hill residents.
“I’m sympathetic to them, but at the same time, I’m more sympathetic to our citizens,” Nieves said. “This is a situation that they need to work around, not the city. It’s going to put a hardship on us if we allow that to happen the way they’re asking.”
Alderman Dan Allen agreed that the issue was not something city staff or its residents had to bear the burden of, and instead suggested the developer come back with a more compromising proposal.
“Two thoughts jump to mind; we either direct staff as a board and say, ‘nothing until January 2 - we don’t like the 12-week closure, bring us something else,’” Allen said. “Or, we could take a different approach and just say, ‘we as the elected body of Spring Hill, we didn’t create this problem - it’s not our problem to solve.’ We can just tell them no, bring us something else.”
Ultimately, the board unanimously voted to defer the proposal for one month, ensuring Kedron Road won’t see any closures until at least Jan. 2, 2020.