PHOTO: The intersection that many Spring Hill residents dread maneuvering through.// Photo by Alexander Willis
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
A project to install traffic signals installed at the exit and entrance ramps of Saturn Parkway at Port Royal Road in Spring Hill has been delayed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), who according to city officials, have delayed the project due to a “federal funding shortfall” onset by the government shutdown.
City officials previously announced last week that the project would be opened for bids in February, with construction set for late spring. Shortly after, TDOT staff had reached out to city officials, revealing the project had, yet again, been delayed.
“According to TDOT, the issue is that State governments can’t immediately access their whole years’ worth of 2019 money from the Highway Trust Fund, as they could in other years,” wrote Spring Hill Communications Director Jamie Page in an email. “Typically, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) makes that money available at the beginning of the fiscal year in October, but the continuing resolution only included authorization for FHWA to distribute about a quarter of the yearly total. That forced TDOT to remove about $106 million in projects from the February bid letting, which delays TDOT projects in six Tennessee counties.”
The project has seen a long history of delays, having originally been scheduled to be open for bids in summer of 2018, before being pushed back multiple times. City Administrator Victor Lay called the project the single most-requested project on social media by city residents.
While the federal government has since reopened, it will shut down again if a national budget is not passed by February 15.
TDOT now hopes to be able to have the traffic signal project open for bids sometime in April, meaning construction could potentially begin sometime late summer or early fall of this year.
Estimated to cost $400,000, the project will, eventually, see traffic signals installed at the exit and entrance ramps of Saturn Parkway at Port Royal Road, alleviating the endless waiting many residents have had to endure for years.