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Stevens Street Project In Cookeville Takes Next Step With Building Demolition

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Stevens Street Project In Cookeville Takes Next Step With Building Demolition

Demolition is complete on a Willow Avenue business, the next step in the City Of Cookeville’s project to widen West Stevens Street.

As part of the project, the city entered into an agreement to purchase a portion of the property when the Country Bumpkin sits. The store has moved into its new location next door, the demolition is finished, the debris removed, and preparation to pave the parking lot is underway. City Manager James Mills said that will allow the addition of a center turn lane at the intersection of Stevens and Willow Avenue.

“It will, we believe, greatly enhance the appearance of the street and also the ability to drive through there,” Mills said. “Stevens Street serves as one of the main east-west corridors that the city of Cookeville has. You can actually start on Steven Street at South Maple Avenue, cross Jackson, where it turns into Buffalo Valley Road, and actually go all the way to Tennessee Avenue all on one continuous street. So it’s very important we have very few contiguous continuous east-west routes through the city, and Stevens Street is one.”

Design work on the improvements to Stevens Street has been completed. Mills said the city continues to acquire easements and right-of-ways along Stevens Street to allow for the upgrades.

“Most of that has already been acquired,” Mills said. “We’re currently in the appraisal portion of that for the other properties that we’ll need to get easements off of so we can have values and approach the owners about acquiring the properties we’ll need to do the project. We’re also asking property owners to consider donating. We believe this project will greatly enhance all the property values along this section of Stevens Street.”

The lanes will be widened from the current nine and ten foot widths to eleven feet in the new arrangement. In addition to the widening of the road, the project will include sidewalks on both sides of the street. Utility lines will be placed underground. Mills said the street will also get new landscaping and lighting.

“It carries a great deal of traffic now, but because of the condition of the street, it’s relatively unsafe to travel for vehicles with all the potholes, which we’ve tried to keep up, but we don’t want to do extensive repairs since we currently are proposing and planning to complete major renovations to the street,” Mills said.

Mills said leveling and grading is currently underway where the building stood to allow for parking to be constructed. The city entered into an agreement with the Country Bumpkin property owners two years ago. The purchase of the structure and property cost the city $450,000.

Under Mills’ leadership, the city is focused on new east-west and north-sound corridors to help move Cookeville’s increasing traffic flow.


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