MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -
With an estimated 30,000 participants and fans flocking to Murfreesboro for the annual all-week high school athletic championships called Spring Fling, motorists are bracing for more traffic delays as they navigate construction projects all over town.
"We allotted two hours to get here from Williamson County," Brentwood assistant girl’s track coach Lara Whitaker told Nashville's News 2 as she watched several of her athletes compete in the pentathlon, which kicked off Spring Fling Monday morning. "You give a lot of extra time for the traffic cause you just never know."
The largest project that will touch just about everyone coming and going around Murfreesboro is the construction of a bridge at one of the town's busiest intersections.
Construction for the Memorial Boulevard/Old Fort Parkway (TN 96) bridge over Broad St (US 41) began earlier this year.
With orange construction cones and portable concrete barriers now part of the intersection landscape, the area has become a familiar bottleneck.
"We just try to avoid it," said one woman who was working not far from the area.
This project could take three years to complete.
A second major area of construction is literally ripping out the street and lawns of homes in southeast Murfreesboro.
It's an extension and widening of Joe B. Jackson Parkway.
It connects the city's industrial park, where an Amazon distribution center is located, with the four-lane U.S. Highway 231 which heads to Shelbyville.
"It's horrible," Meredith Wilson said, as graders, bulldozers and other construction equipment noisily worked on what was once a quiet street.
She said her neighbors are either selling or renting because of the construction noise and delays in getting in and out of the neighborhood.
Meredith cites potential safety problems as well.
"There are kids playing in the street all the time," she added. "And soon there will be tractor trailer trucks coming down the road through our neighborhood."
The roadwork through this neighborhood could be finished by the end of the year.