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Cookeville Hopeful To Finalize Land Agreement For 10th St. Phase II

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Hopeful To Finalize Land Agreement For 10th St. Phase II

Cookeville officials hope to have the final pieces of land in place for the next phase of 10th Street widening by the end of the month.

Phase II will stretch from Old Kentucky Road to Fisk Road. City Manager James Mills said out of 29 parcels of land, the city still needs to obtain the right of way or easements for four. He said they have settled with 18 property owners and have had to use eminent domain for about seven.

“By using eminent domain we can immediately acquire the property and go ahead with the project and then the price of the property would be determined at a later date,” Mills said. “We hope to avoid that as much as possible because there’s unnecessary fees you have to pay for both us and the property owner.”

Mills said they want to get the last four properties settled as soon as possible to be able to bid the project. He said the longer it takes to bid the project, the likelihood the project costs rise will increase.

Mills said the project has been ongoing for several months and have encountered many unique situations. He said property owners have passed after reaching an agreement with the city, starting the process over, they have had to redo appraisals, and other situations.

“This process has dragged on much longer than we had anticipated and again we want to get it closed out as soon as possible so we can bid it and begin construction,” Mills said. “(…) It would mirror the first phase of 10th Street which would include converting it from a three-lane to a five-lane with sidewalks on both sides, enhanced street lighting, curb and gutter.”

Mills said the city will eventually look into 10th Street’s third phase, which includes from Fisk Road to North Washington Avenue, but that is not an urgent priority at this point. He said that will be determined at the council’s decision, and would hopefully be within the next three to five years.

“But that’s another large project, and we anticipate that it could cost more than Phase I and Phase II possibly combined,” Mills said.


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