The $50 million will bring several upgrades to State Route 109, including additional lanes, shoulders and dedicated turning lanes. The project is expected to be complete in 2020.
The ceremony featured John Schroer, Tennessee Department of Transportation commissioner, Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash, Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt, Rep. Susan Lynn, Sen. Mark Pody, Rep. Clark Boyd and several other state and local officials.
“We’ve been working on this a long, long time,” Schroer said. “The reason why we’re here today and the reason this is such a great project is that we were able to get the IMPROVE Act passed. The IMPROVE Act allowed us to turn this into one project instead of two projects, which meant we could get it done quicker than we could before.”
The State Route 109 project is one of 10 Wilson County road projects funded through the IMPROVE Act, which the legislature passed last year. Upgrades to the road are set from Highway 70 north to Dry Fork Creek area and from north of Dry Fork Creek to the Sumner County line.
Construction will start at Academy Road with a new interchange and then go south from the Cumberland River bridge.
Schroer praised the work of Lynn on the project. Lynn said she’s been a staunch supporter of renovations on the roadway since she took office.
“It’s been a long time coming, and I thank God for today. We, now, just have to urge everyone please keep driving safely, look out for your neighbor, let someone out, let someone through and have patience,” she said.
TDOT project supervisor Adam Vance outlined several aspects of the project to residents during a meeting last month, including expected lane shifts, road closures and safety measures, including a 10 mph speed limit reduction during construction.
Nearly a dozen portable message signs, three cameras and seven portable radar detection devices will be used during construction, which will be able to alert drivers about changing road conditions and delays.
Vance said the traffic control and safety measures would be lifted from 5:30-9:30 a.m. and 3:30-6 p.m., as well as during holidays, special events and holiday weekends.
“Not too many days go by in our office that we don’t get a call at the courthouse about 109,” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said. “For us, it is good for Mayor Holt and Sumner County and Wilson County. It’s good for the economic development that will happen along this road. It’s good for the traffic that will come through here. But, No. 1, it’s good for our citizens and visitors that will travel through here.”
Pressure from State Route 109 travelers and corridors on TDOT to improve the heavily traveled stretch of road has increased in recent years with the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization conducting a series of public workshops starting in 2014 to gather information and address concerns.
About 23,880 vehicles travel State Route 109 daily, and that number is expected to rise to about 44,890 by 2038. The roadway sees about 2,150 vehicles during peak hours, while truck traffic makes up nine percent of the roadway traffic.