Hampered by a number of delays over the past year, work on expanding Railroad Avenue is at last set for the spring.
City officials held a meeting before the Thanksgiving holidays in Nashville with representatives of the Tennessee Department of Transportation and all the utilities involved in the project, which has been delayed a number of times due to unresolved issues with relocating services such as phones, gas, power and cable.
Extensive renovations have been planned to improve truck access to the city's industrial area which includes Newell-Rubbermaid, Gold River Feeds, Bemis, Calsonic-Kansei, Goggin, CBT and other firms.
City manager Jay Johnson described the gathering as the final design meeting, where the plans were literally "gone over page by page" by the different utilities.
As a result, the project has been set for the state's Feb. 15, 2013 bid letting.
"We're real pleased," Johnson said. "I think we're ready to go."
From this point forward, the project will be going through the TDOT process, with the bids taking around 30 days to be evaluated. Johnson says if everything falls into place, work could begin in late spring or early summer.
Johnson also said the cost of the project could go "up or down, depending on the bids." The city has already paid a little more than $190,000 for its share of the relocation costs.
The problem has been focused on the narrow right-of-way available south of the railroad line, and each time an issue for one utility had been resolved, it would bring up another concern for a different utility.
City officials initially budgeted $90,000 for moving the utilities on the street and $292,500 was moved from various city accounts to cover the expense during Shelbyville's budget sessions this past summer.
In June, the city received approval for design modification for the original plans to lower the cost estimates of relocation. The new roadway will now have two 11-foot lanes with 2-foot paved shoulders, along with roadside drainage improvements.
The roadway improvements will be 100 percent funded by TDOT, at an estimated budget of $770,000.