McMinnville officials may try to detour the state’s plan to redesign traffic flow in front of Pacesetters and Three Star Mall.
Tennessee Department of Transportation announced in August it plans on redesigning the entire intersection due to the city’s request to extend Magness Drive to the bypass. As part of those plans, it would remove the merges on and off Highway 70S and dead-end Sparta Street in the area of U.S. Auto Sales and Fresenius Medical Center.
Removing the merges is meant to reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents.
Alderman Everett Brock says local residents want to keep the merges.
“How can we get some input into the way they want to redesign that?” Brock asked. “I don’t think anybody in this town is happy with the way they want to funnel the traffic out there by making two right hand turns verses one merging lane. Everybody is against this. I don’t know how we provide input into this.”
Brock’s disproval was voiced during the most recent McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. Alderman Steve Harvey and Mayor Ben Newman said they too have heard negative comments about the state’s plan.
City administrator Bill Brock offered to contact TDOT to open the lines of communication on the subject.
Everett Brock added, “I just don’t want this to get so far down the road that they then say ‘We can’t change it’ so I’d like to address this now.”
Prompting the discussion was an update that TDOT has agreed to move forward with the Magness Drive/ intersection redesign project as long as city officials agree to pay 50 percent of any land acquisition costs or utility relocation costs that are necessary.
There will not be a public hearing on design plans. However, residents can send an email to TDOT.Comments@tn.gov and reference US-70S@SR380 and Magness Drive exit to express their thoughts on design plans.