SPRING HILL, TN (WSMV) - The city of Spring Hill is receiving a $25 million federal grant to help fund the construction of a new Interstate 65 interchange exit and extension of Buckner Road to connect it.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander on Thursday announced the grant award will come through the U.S. Department of Transporation. The project will "create much needed interstate access on the north end of town, which will greatly help to relieve U.S. 31 traffic."

"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 $34 million interchange project," the city said in a statement.

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 for construction to start sooner than anticipated. The city said the first steps are an environmental study and then the design of the project. Lewisburg Pike will be extended to connect the interstate, and a separate related project will widen Buckner Road and Buckner Lane to accommodate additional traffic.

“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!”

The federal grant is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Better Utilizing Investiments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program which awards grants to communities to fund significant transportation projects.

An exact date on when work will begin on the interchange is not yet available.

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