By QUINT QUALLS
City consultants presented plans for various roadway improvements at intersections along Main Street (U.S. Highway 31) at Tuesday’s Board of Mayor and Alderman work session.
According to City Administrator Victor Lay, the city is now at the point where it is ready to bid the projects out. However, there are more sessions planned for public review of the projects before they begin. Lay said officials want to make sure that everyone who might have concerns with some of the changes understands the project. A meeting held in August for affected property owners drew only two attendees, one of whom received college credit to sit in on the meeting, Lay said.
In addition to Tuesday’s meeting, the public will have another opportunity to learn more about the projects from city officials before the projects are bid out to a firm for construction at the Transportation Advisory Committee’s Sept. 19 meeting.
According to Alderman Chad Whittenburg, chairman of the TAC, the committee’s upcoming meeting will be held in the court room of city hall rather than the conference room to allow for increased citizen participation. Also up for discussion that night will be the city’s plans to widen Highway 31.
“The main reason (for the meeting change) is I expect a large crowd,” Whittenburg said. “We’re going to be talking about this design; we’re going to be talking about the (Highway) 31 design. Brad Thompson will be here talking about the traffic management plan that me and Victor (Lay) have been working on for school time traffic and he’s going to be talking about the new interstate interchange. So we’ll be talking about a lot of high profile topics.”
Jerome Dempsey and Cory Hall, of Dempsey Dilling & Associates, displayed the design plans for the public Tuesday. Hall outlined the planned improvements for Main Street at the intersections of Wilkes Lane, Campbell Station Parkway, Nasdaq Street and Commonwealth Drive.
In addition to some pedestrian improvements like sidewalks and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps, some of the highlights of the planned roadway improvements include:
- Wilkes Lane Intersection: A northbound right turn lane at Wilkes Court and southbound right turn lane at Wilkes Lane are planned, in addition to a concrete right-in, right-out island at Wilkes Lane. The northbound left turn lane on Main Street onto Wilkes Lane will also be eliminated as a result of the right-in, right-out island.
- Campbell Station Parkway: The plan will add a northbound right turn lane onto Campbell Station.
- Nasdaq Street: A right-in, right-out island will be added at the intersection of Nasdaq with Main Street along with a northbound right turn lane.
- Commonwealth Drive: A northbound right turn lane is proposed at the Commonwealth intersection. The plan also calls for scaling back the divider island on Commonwealth on the east side of the intersection, as well as adding pedestrian crosswalks on each side of the intersection.
The improvements are a part of the “Diablo Package” of nine projects on Highway 31 for which the Board of Mayor and Alderman budgeted $2.6 million for the 2016-2017 fiscal year to cover the construction and inspection costs.
Quint Qualls covers Spring Hill for Home Page Media Group. Reach him at email@example.com.