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Further Work Needed On Portion Of Tennessee Avenue, $400K Cost

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Further Work Needed On Portion Of Tennessee Avenue, $400K Cost

Cookeville City Council will consider a $250,000 payment to help pay for road improvements on Tennessee Avenue.

Some 900 feet of roadway will be brought up to industrial road standards to handle truck traffic from the new Fed Ex and Garrett Brothers Concrete Company facilities in the area.

City Manager James Mills said recent work discovered that some three feet of subgrade needs to be removed because it will not make for a stable long-term surface.

“The proof roll indicates that the subgrade is awful and has to be removed,” Mills told council at Monday’s work session. “And the minimum they’re estimating is that three feet of the subgrade needs to be removed and replaced with shot rock, big rocks, then put the gravel base on top of that. If that’s not done, the road will likely collapse.

Mills said the payment made sense for the city since Fed Ex did not ask for any money or property discounts from the city before choosing the site.

“This is 250 jobs, it’s a $42 million investment, so I think the $250,000 that they’re asking that we help them on…it’s fair and appropriate,” Mills said.

The total price tag of the subgrade improvements will be some $400,000. Mills said in a meeting last week, Westmoreland Group, the developer of the Fed Ex property, was not prepared to pay the entire amount. Westmoreland had earlier agreed to widen the road and remove the existing asphalt. T-DOT agreed to pay for the new asphalt.

If council agrees to the payment Thursday night, the money will go to Westmoreland who will continue to be responsible for the project. Mills said the money will come from the city’s economic development fund.

The memorandum of understanding includes a tentative August 1 completion date. But Mills said he wants it done sooner. The city closed the portion of the road last month because of potholes and other issues.

“We need to end up with a good road,” Mills said. “If not, we’re going to be back there fixing it in a couple of years, all on our own dime.”


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