Photo by Alexander Willis
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
The Duplex Road widening project, which will eventually see Duplex Road widened to five lanes from Interstate 65 to Main Street, will miss its original completion date of April, 2020, and is now projected to be completed sometime in the fall of next year.
The news of the delay comes from Community Relations Officer Kathryn Schulte with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, who said the delay was due to utility companies not moving their utility poles on schedule.
“On this project overhead utilities were supposed to be relocated before the contractor began work,” Schulte wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, that work was not completed, and the planned construction phases were impacted since utility poles were in conflict with construction activities. The contractor did work around poles where applicable to help minimize the impact of the delay.”
Beginning in October of 2017, the project faced some potential delays early on, but as recently as October of 2018 it was supposedly on track to meet its original deadline of April, 2020.
City leaders advise drivers on Duplex Road use caution this summer, as there will be more construction activity than usual over the warmer months.
Once completed, the expanded road will also see a nine-foot wide multi-use trail installed on the north side of the road, while the south side will see a five-foot wide walking trail, extending the entire 3.2 mile-long stretch of road.
“A time extension was approved on the Duplex Road project, due to utility delays,” Schulte wrote. “The project is now estimated to be complete in the fall of 2020.”