The Tennessee Department of Transportation held a ground breaking ceremony on Friday, June 13, just off of the Hwy 10 hill in Lafayette. TDOT Commissioner John Schroer was among the dignitaries who came out to the site for the event.
The project, as stated in a press release from TDOT, includes a nearly two-mile stretch of SR 10, from south of Goose Creek to SR 52 in Lafayette.
“The road will also be widened to include two 12-foot travel lanes, a truck climbing lane, and left turn lanes,” reads the TDOT press release. “Road shoulders will be widened from one foot to ten feet. Contract crews will also perform grading, install drainage and new pavement, and construct a concrete box bridge and six retaining walls.
“The current narrow and winding stretch of SR 10 has been a safety concern for state and local leaders, as well as residents, following a number of serious vehicle crashes in recent years. The planned changes will provide a safer and easier means of travel along the corridor.”
Dignitaries present for the groundbreaking included other representatives of TDOT, local mayors, Sen. Mae Beavers, Rep. Kelly Keisling, Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver.
Commissioner Schroer presided over ceremonies, and each of these others made statements. Rep. Kelly Keisling mentioned during his speech that when Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver was redistricted out of Macon County, her first statement to Keisling was, ‘Whatever you do, make sure that the Highway 10 project gets finished.’
The project was awarded to Twin K Construction, Inc. last week, with their low bid of $15,419,073.30. Construction will begin very soon, according to TDOT, and it is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016.
TDOT Right of Way Agent Jon “Bird” Armstrong, who handled Hwy 10 ROW acquisitions, told the Times that this project was “very challenging, but rewarding too.”
“We were working on such a stringent time line that really pushed us, and there’s only so much you can do in time,” said Armstrong. “I was here four days a week. I would leave my office at 5:30 and get up here before people went to work. I live in Dickson County, so just the drive here and back was six hours. And I’m sure you heard we had a meth trailer over here. That was unusual. Then there were people in another trailer park, and none of the adults were US citizens. And only one man spoke English; another spoke broken English. So for the first time, I had to hire an interpreter to accompany me here.
“But everybody has gone from what we consider substandard housing to much better housing. So we have definitely changed lives. I had five people on this project, who were renting property, and because of this project and the funds that were available, these five people bought property for themselves.
“It is now 100% complete. I delivered the last check for moving costs this morning.”
During the ceremony, Commissioner Schroer urged local drivers to take more care on Highway 10 as ever. “We can build safe roads,” he said, “but if people aren’t driving safe, there’s nothing we can do.”