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Jackson Co. HWY 56 Corridor Study To Expand

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Jackson County is conducting a corridor study to increase safety and economic development along highway 56.

Corridor studies develop long term plans for roadways and adjacent land. Dale Hollow Rural Planning Coordinator Mark Dudney said the roadway being reviewed stretches from the Robert Fox Middle School south to the Putnam County line.

“The ultimate goal of the study,” Dudney said. “Will be to ensure that the current and future infrastructure that Jackson County hopes to put in at some point will meet the needs of continuing development on that corridor.”

TDOT consultants will review traffic counts and tourism numbers to determine what is most needed. Dudney said the study could result in road expansions with additional turning lanes. Dudney said the development plans could also help recruit businesses along the highway.

“The vast majority of economic growth in Jackson County trends towards I-40,” Dudney said. “It is on the southern side there. It encompasses a lot things from a lot of traffic coming off I-40 to go to Cummins Falls for tourism purposes and coming to Jackson County for the rivers and sportsmanship.”

The study is apart of TDOT’s Rural Planning Initiative for counties economically at risk or distressed. Dudney said qualifying counties can apply for $25,000 to conduct road studies, resurfacing and striping plans, transportation studies and inventory, streets plans, bike/pedestrian master plans and transportation management.

“It incorporates land use, safety and all these things about the best way to plan in advance,” Dudney said. “When you have a planning document like that, it helps you to then later apply for brick and mortar and construction type things that may help as well. It is always good to plan first before you act.”

Dudney said the study is a continuation of Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady’s community transportation planning request in 2018. The corridor study picks up where the planning request ended.




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