According to Lambert, additional work by the City of Mt. Juliet was requested, lengthening the projects timeframe.
That additional work includes adding a crosswalk at the beginning of the job, at Mt. Juliet Road to tie into the citys greenway, Lambert said.
Mt. Juliet Public Works Director Marlin Keel said the greenway project began in 2009 prior to the start of the TDOT roadwork on North Mt. Juliet Road. Keel said phase one of the greenway crosses North Mt. Juliet Road between East Division Street and the Mt. Juliet Music City Star Station.
She also noted additional paving was requested by the city at the intersection of Highway 70 and North Mt. Juliet Road, including an additional turn lane added with a modification of the traffic signal.
The entire project was slated to cost $8.9 million, but Lambert said the exact cost with the additional work requested would not be known until a few months after the job is completed.
As Mt. Juliet has grown rapidly in the past several years, once the new five-lane section is completed, traffic is expected to flow much easier from Hwy. 70 to Interstate 40.
A major construction project in Lebanon is also on TDOTs radar as the department expects to make changes to the Public Square, in response to safety concerns that have arisen since a pedestrian was struck by a car last year.
Lambert said the department is making safety improvements to the Square so that pedestrians no longer have to cross traffic to walk to businesses located there.
The project will eliminate parking in the middle and create more of a round-about style intersection, Lambert said. All this is being done to make it safer for people walking around the Square.
In November 2011, Richard Rick Smith was struck by a car while crossing the street on the Square, breaking his leg. Smith, who works at F&M Bank on West Main Street, was walking from the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Office located on the Square.
Lambert indicated city officials and even District 46 State Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, wrote letters to TDOT, requesting the department to look at the Squares safety.
TDOT conducted a road safety audit on the Square in Lebanon after receiving letters from Lebanon city officials and Rep. Pody, Lambert said.
Department officials conducted a site visit in February and discussed possible plans with city officials. Lambert said the department is now looking at four designs and determining if they are viable from an engineering standpoint.
She indicated the department could bring plans to city officials as early as next month. While a price has not been determined yet, Lambert said the city could have a local match to cover the costs of the project, but said most of the cost will be paid by the department.
TDOT will shoulder the majority of the total cost and we will pay for this with the departments safety funds since the goal of this project is to address pedestrian safety around Lebanons Square, Lambert said.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.