CROSS PLAINS, TN (WSMV) - The Tennessee Department of Transportation said the largest project in Tennessee history is underway on Interstate 65 north of Nashville.

The project will widen I-65 on both sides of the interstate from two to three lanes from Long Hollow Pike in Davidson County to near the Kentucky state line in Sumner County.

“I don’t think you need a traffic study to see what’s going on behind us,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony. “The amount of traffic I saw coming up on the road this morning was incredible. It was just two lanes back-to-back as far as I could see in my rear-view mirror and far ahead of me.”

The first phase of the TDOT project will widen the interstate from State Route 25 in Cross Plains to State Route 109 in Portland.

“The road has been in disrepair for quite some time,” said state Rep. William Lamberth, R-Portland. “They’ve fixed it, they’ve patched it, they’ve tried to stretch out its lifetime. It’s time for an improvement.”

Part of the 10-mile improvement includes the widening and replacement of 10 bridges and more parking for trucks along the route.

“We know that Nashville isn’t going to grow to the south much more,” said Lamberth. “They know they don’t have a whole lot of room out to the east. It’s coming north.”

The project will cost $160 million, surpassing the cost of the I-440 reconstruction in Nashville.

“I-65 was part of the interstate system that was built back in the 60s,” said Bright. “You can see this roadway is heavily traveled and it’s about worn out.”

TDOT said it will try to keep lane closures limited to nights and weekends. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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