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TDOT sticks with its redesign plans
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There will be no changes to the state’s plans on its future redesign of the intersection on Highway 70S in front of Three Star Mall. 

McMinnville officials met with TDOT representatives and expressed local concerns for the proposed plan that includes removing the merges onto and off Highway 70S and dead-ending Sparta Street, which will force traffic to utilize two traffic signal intersections in order to gain access to the highway.

Magness Drive Expansion AM

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“So, this is it,” said Alderman Steve Harvey. “This is the way it’s going to happen?”

TDOT economic development coordinator Danielle Hagewood said, “If you have some suggestion that we need to hear, we are open to hear it, but this is the plan we are moving forward with at this time. Yes.”

Those comments came after McMinnville officials made suggestions for change and expressed local concerns during a second presentation outlining the state’s plans, plans that were unchanged from the first time they were presented in August. 

Prompting the total redesign was a request by city officials to allow Magness Drive to be connected to the bypass to ease traffic concerns when Motlow’s new Advanced Robotics Center opens. At this time, Magness Drive ends at Pacesetters.

Instead of just extending Magness Drive, TDOT took the opportunity to redesign the entire intersection.

Hagewood reminded officials the intersection is owned by TDOT and the Excess Land Committee approved the city’s request contingent upon redesign of the intersection.

“Just keep in mind that State Route 1 (Highway 70) and State Route 380 (Sparta Street) are state facilities,” said Hagewood. “I guess you can always say that it’s a state highway and that’s TDOT’s decision. I know there was some miscommunication at one point. I know this intersection was not at McMinnville’s request. This was our requirement based on the Excess Land request to open Magness Drive.” 

The project is estimated at $5.76 million. It is estimated to be complete in 36 to 48 months.