TDOT employees along with Williamson County officials met July 19 for a progress update on the project currently under construction west of Hillsboro Road near the Harpeth River.
The $45 million project will extend the perimeter highway from Hillsboro Road just outside downtown Franklin to Hwy. 96 West near the Westhaven development. When finished, it will have four lanes with a median.
On the Hillsboro Road side of the project, workers are constructing a 35-foot-high, half-mile bridge over the floodplain.
"From time to time, this whole area goes underwater," TDOT chief engineer Paul Degges said. "We've got to make sure the road doesn't."
The extension project has long been on the books for the city of Franklin. Alderperson At-Large Ann Petersen—who was in attendance along with Mayor Ken Moore, City Administrator Eric Stuckey and Alderpersons Margaret Martin, Clyde Barnhill and Brady Blanton—brought to the construction site a newspaper from 1969 which laid out plans for the parkway, which will eventually extend and create a loop around the city.
Between 50 and 60 workers are on the site each day, according to the contractor, Mississippi-based Eutaw Construction. Near Del Rio Pike, utility work is ongoing, and TDOT officials said residents should be able to see progress on the road soon.
"You're seeing the positive impact of the IMPROVE Act," State Rep. Sam Whitson said, referring to the gas tax increase passed in 2017 that raises additional money for state infrastructure projects.
There will also be a multi-use trail for pedestrians and bikers alongside the extension, according to TDOT.