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Jefferson Avenue Widening Remains On Track

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Jefferson Avenue Widening Remains On Track

The Jefferson Avenue widening project is still in its property acquisition phase, but remains on track for bidding in March 2021.

T-DOT Community Relations Officer Jennifer Flynn said a total of 103 parcels are needed along the stretch from Interstate 40 to Highway 111. Flynn said the pandemic has slowed down acquiring properties. However, she could not say for sure what role it has played on the Jefferson Avenue project.

“Meeting these people personally and looking at their property, that’s not something that you can do behind a computer,” Flynn said. “There’s a lot of face-to-face meetings that were involved… So, we’ve had to change the way we do some things and it has added a little extra time to that particular process on a lot of our projects.”

Flynn said T-DOT is taking steps to prevent delays during construction, which is tentatively set to begin next summer.

“We’ve had problems before with utilities delaying projects, for this project we’re working toward getting those utility conflicts addressed before the project is let to construction,” Flynn said. “It takes a little more time on the front end, but the reward is a smoother construction project once it gets started.”

T-DOT began applying for permits in mid-September, Flynn said. She said T-DOT must have the permits in hand to able to contract the project.

“Our permit section is still responding to questions from the regulatory agencies, so the permit application process takes about six months,” Flynn said. “We must have the permits in-hand to be able to let the project contract.”

The 2.2 mile project will widen Jefferson Avenue to five lanes, adding two lanes in each direction, with a continuous center lane.


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