NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The second phase of widening I-65 between Nashville and the Kentucky state line is set to begin construction in the third quarter of 2021, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s website.
The interstate is two lanes in each direction most of the way between the Long Hollow Pike in Goodlettsville and the state line.
News4 spoke with Janesa Barber who takes I-65 once a week to visit her cousin in Cross Plains.
"I don't like driving on the interstate so when there's more lanes I feel more comfortable," Janesa Barber who lives in Portland said.
The TDOT project will extend for more than 25 miles.
Barber said she's run into problems with the way the interstate is right now.
"Mainly, it's a lot of tractor trailers when you're getting on there. They can't really slow down and so a lot of traffic," Barber said.
The plan calls for widening the roadway from four to six lanes with three 12-foot travel lanes in each direction, 12-foot paved outside shoulders, 12-foot paved inside shoulders with around 300 feet of right-of-way and a concrete media barrier wall where required.
Two northbound truck climbing lanes will be constructed between mile markers 99 and 100 and mile markers 102 and 104. An auxiliary lane will also be added in each direction between the interchanges of Rivergate Parkway and Long Hollow Pike to accommodate traffic exiting and entering the interstate.
Due to the length of the I-65 corridor, the I-65 improvements have been separated into smaller phases.
The state recently completed expanding I-65 in each direction from the new Highway 109 interchange in Portland to the state line.
"Anybody who has driven on this road knows that we need to widen it. It is a very heavily traveled corridor. It has been two lanes in each direction for a very long time," Jensen said.
The second phase of the project would be between Highway 25 in Cross Plains and Highway 109.
"People may be wondering why did you start there? We had to prioritize that section of interstate because we have spent a lot of money maintaining that section of interstate," Jensen said.
TDOT forecasts this phase will be under construction during the third quarter of 2021. A portion of the work involves replacing nine bridges. The contract will be put out for bid later this year.
The remaining phases include:
- Bethel Road (State Route 257) to Highway 25 in Cross Plains
- Highway 31W near Millersville to Bethel Road (State Route 257)
- Rivergate Parkway to Highway 31W near Millersville.
Engineering work is currently underway for these phases.
The construction phases for the other three portions of the projects haven't been funded just yet. TDOT said that will depend on upcoming budget cycles.
Until that's known, it's unclear how long the entire project will take.
For information on the I-65 corridor improvement plan, click here.