IMPROVE Act may go to 10 local projects

Xavier Smith • Updated Feb 9, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed IMPROVE Act could help fund several road projects in Wilson County, ranging from road widening to technology upgrades. 

The IMPROVE Act is a comprehensive and strategic plan to cut taxes on food and manufacturing, while updating how the state provides Tennesseans the safe and reliable transportation network needed to support future job growth.

A portion of the IMPROVE Act increases the road user fee or gas tax by 7 cents for a gallon of gas and 12 cents for a gallon of diesel and increases car registration fees by $5 for the average passenger vehicle, which is expected to bring in $278 million in new dollars for 962 Tennessee Department of Transportation projects currently on backlog. 

The funds could go toward 10 Wilson County road projects, including two highly debated roadways in State Route 109 and South Mt. Juliet Road. 

The projects are categorized into different programs, which have different possible actions for each. 

The State Route 109 project is designated for the roadway from Highway 70 and north to the county line at Dry Fork Creek. The 7.5 miles of work is estimated at $18.5 million.

The project falls under the trade program, which is for routes critical to commerce. There are no possible actions listed in the trade program description, but it is noted roadways in the trade program should operate in an “efficient manner.”

The mile-long South Mt. Juliet Road project is estimated at $25.4 million. The project would address the road from Central Pike to Providence Way. 

The project falls under the urban growth program, which is for projects that promote growth, improve overall accessibility and reduce transportation costs. The possible actions for urban growth projects could include road widening.

Two Interstate 40 projects could address issues from Interstate 840 to Highway 70 and from State Route 109 to I-840. The project’s estimated total is $94 million.

Both projects fall under the interstate program, which is for projects needed to ease congestion, improve safety and increase service reliability and capacity. The possible actions include widening, adding a truck-climbing lane or updating an interchange.

Four other projects fall under the urban growth program. Those projects include Central Pike from Old Hickory Boulevard to Mt. Juliet Road; Highway 70 from Park Glen Drive to Bender’s Ferry Road; Hartsville Pike from south of Spring Creek to north of Lover’s Lane; and Hartsville Pike from north of Lovers Lane to Highway 70. 

Those projects’ estimated total is about $98 million. 

A new interchange at I-40 and Central Pike is also listed under the interstate program and estimated at $14.2 million. 

Another project would feature I-40 and stretches across Davidson, Dickson, Cheatham, Williamson and Wilson counties. 

The estimated $4 million project falls under the technology program, which could include TDOT’s cameras, overhead signs, HELP Program and other technologies designed to maximize the efficiency of Tennessee’s transportation system.


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