Two DeKalb County projects are scheduled for upcoming bid lettings by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
TDOT plans to let for construction next month repairs to the Veterans Memorial Bridge on College Street in Smithville. “The project to repair the bridge on College Street over State Route 26 (US 70) in Smithville is currently in the February 10, 2017 letting. That means that bids will be opened for the project on that date,” Jennifer Flynn, TDOT Community Relations Officer told WJLE
Meanwhile, the Highway 56 project has been funded and is scheduled for a May bid letting. The original plans called for building a four lane road from south of the Warren County line (in Warren County) to near Magness Road in DeKalb County. TDOT now proposes to build a new two lane road (typical section) with twelve foot lanes and ten foot paved shoulders and passing lanes along the 3.30 mile existing alignment.
“The project to widen a 3.3-mile section of State Route 56 from south of the Warren County Line to Magness Road has been funded for construction and is currently tentatively scheduled to be in the May letting. It was to have been let earlier, but some further coordination was needed with the Federal Highway Administration before the project could go forward. This project was one of the first to be included in our Expedited Project Delivery process, and we are working closely with FHWA to ensure that the EPD process runs smoothly. The project is for a two-lane roadway to be constructed within the Right of Way (ROW) purchased for the initial 4-lane design. The design also includes passing lanes in some areas,” said Flynn.
This portion of the highway is currently a two lane road with eleven to twelve foot lanes and two to eleven foot shoulder widths.
According to TDOT officials, the rate of severe crashes on this portion of Highway 56 is (0.250) double the state average (0.128) for rural two lane routes but that the decision to scale back the project was out of financial necessity. At last report, the total projected cost was to be $7,611,000, a savings to the state of $12,800,000 from TDOT's original plans for this portion of Highway 56, which would have cost $20,411,000.