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The City of Spring Hill is proud and excited to receive a $25 million federal grant to help fund the construction of a new I-65 interchange exit and extension of Buckner Road to connect the new interchange.
United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Thursday announced that the grant award will come through the U.S. Department of Transportation. This is a significant development for Spring Hill, which currently has only one I-65 interchange. This project will create much needed interstate access on the north end of town, which will greatly help to relieve U.S. 31 traffic and do a great deal to address part of our growing city’s transportation issues. At a City level, this has been ranked one of our most important projects, and this federal grant will cover a majority of the total estimated $48 million interchange project.
This came about through a tremendous amount of work at many levels from City staff, private sector consultants, elected officials and citizens. A special thank you goes out to U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn for her hard work that helped to secure Federal Highway Administration approval earlier this year to be able to move forward with the interchange project, and to U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander for his strong efforts that led to the awarding of these federal grant funds. This BUILD grant program is funded by the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee, of which Alexander is a member.
“We can’t offer enough thanks and appreciation to everyone involved in making this federal grant possible at so many levels,” Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham said. “This project is precisely what’s needed, and I’m confident that the interchange is going to truly have the positive impact on our local transportation system that we all anticipate. Perhaps what’s most exciting about this grant is that it will greatly speed up the timeline at which the interchange construction can begin!”
Sen. Alexander said in his news release Thursday that the federal funds are targeted at reducing traffic congestion in Middle Tennessee.
“It’s not a secret, traffic congestion in and around the Nashville area is a headache – right now, if you take I-65 from Spring Hill to Nashville, you’re probably late to work because you’re sitting in at least an hour of traffic,” Sen. Alexander stated in the news release. “This $25 million federal grant will create a new avenue for Middle Tennesseans to get to work more quickly. This was a highly competitive grant and Spring Hill will receive $25 million, which is the most any applicant can receive. This award is a great compliment to our state and its leadership.”
The funds will make it possible to start much sooner than originally anticipated to construct a new interchange off Interstate 65 at the intersection of Buckner Road, which will be extended to the interstate. The first steps are completing an environmental study, and then the design of the project. Lewisburg Pike also will be extended to connect to the interstate. As a separate but related project, Buckner Road and Buckner Lane will be widened by the City to accommodate the additional traffic.
The federal grant is part of the U.S.DOT’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program, which awards competitive grants to communities in Tennessee and across the country to fund significant transportation projects, including highways and bridges, public transportation systems, passenger and freight railroads and port infrastructure. In Fiscal Year 2018, the BUILD grant was federally funded at $1.5 billion.