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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bypass work a priority: Council

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The city council is expected to ask Tennessee to make Shelbyville's bypass "a community priority" when they take action during their regular meeting next week.

But other road projects are already high on the state's "to do" list, and completing the bypass would be a multi-year process.

Last month, the Chamber of Commerce's economic development and tourist committee suggested the community make a formal request to the department of transportation (TDOT) that the western extension of State Route 437, locally known as the Shelbyville Bypass, become a community priority.

The county's rules and legislative committee have asked that the full commission adopt a resolution to that effect when they meet on Feb. 12.

Others on list

However, city manager Jay Johnson has pointed out in a memo that while supporting the extension of the route is "an excellent idea," there are currently other state road projects which are ready to go.

Johnson said that long-term road planning is co-coordinated through the South Central Tennessee "Rural Planning Organization" -- a multi-county jurisdiction that establishes priorities on a regional basis -- and the bypass is not ranked in the listings of projects.

For this area, completing the improvement to U.S. 41A between Shelbyville and Tullahoma is ranked number one and two, the city manager explained.

But in Shelbyville, completing the widening of North Main Street from Madison Street to Northside Circle is the top project in terms of state highway project funding, Johnson said.

Long term

Johnson said that adopting the resolution would keep the bypass project as "a long term planning priority" as TDOT works on their future plans.

"Recognizing the many phases of a project from pre-planning, to survey, to preliminary design, final design to right of acquisition and then bidding for actual construction, it is a multi-year process," Johnson wrote.

The widening of North Main is anticipated to begin in October, with a center turn lane to be added from Madison Street to north of Rolling Road at Lowe's.

TDOT's three-year transportation program also lists the second part of the current construction phase to turn U.S. 41-A South into a four-lane highway -- 1.9 miles of work from Thompson Creek Road to west of Rippy Ridge Road.