Photo by Alexander Willis
By ALEXANDER WILLIS
The U.S. 31 widening project, which will see Main Street widened to five lanes from Duplex Road all the way to the southern border of Thompson’s Station, has been placed on the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) annual three-year transportation program, and will see its first phase get underway in 2020.
Released on Thursday, this year’s annual program will directly help fund Governor Bill Lee’s first executive order, which aimed to help rural areas of Tennessee help manage accelerating growth.
While not among the eight projects planned to see construction begin in the next three years, with the new I-65 interchange being one of them, the plan does outline that the first phase of the U.S. 31 widening project – the environmental study – will comfortably be underway next year in 2020. The plan also reads that the second phase of the project, the preliminary engineering phase, will be underway in 2022.
Ultimately, the project will see five total phases of development; environmental clearance, preliminary engineering, right-of-way, utility coordination, and finally, construction. The project will see the city of Spring Hill liable for $2 million of its total cost, estimated to be $19 million.
The eventual completion of both the new interchange and U.S. 31 widening project could provide major traffic congestion relief to drivers in Spring Hill, something residents have been vocal about both at city meetings and on social media for years.
“Investing in infrastructure is an important part of driving economic opportunity throughout our state,” said Lee in a statement. “This funding, particularly for rural Tennessee, will help to keep Tennesseans safe.”