A major road is getting a makeover with more lanes and easier access to Interstate 24.
More than 22,000 people drive on New Salem Highway every day, but with so much growth in Rutherford County, that number will double in coming years.
According to the newest population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, Murfreesboro is the fastest growing city in Middle Tennessee, so it’s no surprise that traffic congestion is on the rise.
Recently portions of I-24 were widened to four lanes to keep up with the demand of commuters into Nashville, but now the roads getting drivers to the interstate are seeing some problems themselves, particularly on New Salem Highway.
“Right now we’ve got an average daily traffic of 22,000 cars, but it’s growing every day,” said Adam Vance, TDOT District Operations supervisor. “As you can see driving up and down the road, there’s developments everywhere and we’re trying to stay ahead of everything before it gets backed up.”
Vance, who oversees all TDOT road projects in Rutherford County, said there is a big need for the stretch of New Salem Highway to be expanded, and work begins this summer in three phases.
The bridge over the Stones River will be the first to get a facelift. Work will take place during the day and night with partial lane closures.
Once the bridge work is complete, crews will widen each stretch of the highway surrounding I-24 and add a median.
Using these barriers, TDOT will keep two lanes open during construction at all times. That construction will last at least two years.
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