"I think it will really help traffic problems relax some in that area," said Ward 1 Councilor Alex Buhler. "It could reroute a lot of the big trucks."
Buhler also noted that the trucks may not all shift to the new route until work on the section of Hartmann from Baddour Parkway to West Main street is complete.
"But that’s a state project," he said, adding that he hopes it will be complete by fall.
However, City Utilities Engineer Chuck Boyette said it will probably be next spring before the widening will be done.
He explained that widening projects are much more complicated than new construction.
"Work like the extension is the easiest type of road project," he said. "There are no constraints, no utilities and no traffic to slow it down."
The section to be widened requires first for Middle Tennessee Electric to put up new poles and move all of their lines, which he said they have already done. "Then AT&T has to go in and move their lines," he said. "AT&T is using this as an opportunity to improve their service, so it does have some advantages."
Boyette also said the city is working on moving the water, sewer and gas lines to accommodate the planned five-lanes of that section of Hartmann.
Buhler said he thinks the new route may also encourage building of homes in that section of Lebanon.
"We already have a lot of residential property along that route," he said. "There’s one subdivision already started with about 200 homes on 231, and another with 200 has been approved for Coles Ferry right near Hartmann."
He said the most important thing was to remember to thank the other members of the council for supporting the construction. "Without their support, it would never have been built and it is badly needed."
Mayor Don Fox said, "This is a very significant event in that we have tied the ‘bypass’ together from end to end for this phase."