SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) — A major road project in Rutherford County is moving forward after nearly two decades.
Speaker Cameron Sexton met with Rutherford County leaders Wednesday morning at a breakfast in Smyrna to discuss infrastructure in Middle Tennessee.
Representative Mike Sparks has been pushing for changes to Jefferson Pike (SR-266) since 2002, after a family’s young son was killed in a horrific car accident.
“Joan and John Phillips lost their son Jonathan, who had just graduated valedictorian. I had his picture hung up in my office I had two businesses on Jefferson Pike and it’s just great news today,” said Rep. Sparks.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation confirmed with News 2 the project will receive bids from contractors in early October. Assuming a contract is awarded, construction will begin six to eight weeks later.
The goal is to improve safety and traffic operations. SR-266 will widen to five lanes from Nissan Drive to east of Interstate 840. There will also be bike lanes and sidewalks on each side from Nissan Drive to Harbor Drive. Traffic signals will be installed at the Hickory Grove intersections as well as the I-840 ramp intersections.
News 2 spoke with the owner of Gil’s Hardware, Ginny Williams, in January of 2019. Not only is her business located on the busy stretch, but so is her home.
A woman died in a head-on collision right in front of her house at that time. On Wednesday, she spoke about how relieved and excited she is to finally see the project come to fruition.
“It’s progress and it’s very much needed. I sometimes think how is it going to affect my business and me personally, hopefully they’ll keep traffic moving,” she said.
Despite potential hiccups in her everyday commute, it’s well worth it for the end result.
The total length of the project is 3.9 miles. The estimated cost is $51.2 million and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2024.
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